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Tunisia Train Collision Injures 95 People

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Tunisia Train Collision Injures 95 People

Author Peace Salifu, Abuja 

A collision between two passenger trains injured 95 people on Monday morning in the south of the Tunisian capital, emergency services said.

The state civil defence spokesman Moez Triaa said the injured were taken to hospitals and no death recorded.

Tunisia’s ageing railway system has seen several deadly crashes in recent years.

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At least five people were killed and more than 50 injured in late 2016 when a train slammed into a public bus before dawn near the site of Monday’s crash.

The previous year, the North African country experienced one of its worst railway disasters, with 18 people killed when a train hit a lorry and derailed at a level crossing south of the capital because of a signal failure.

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Customs Corner

Customs Collaborates DG TAXUD EU For Efficient Export Monitoring, Trade Facilitation

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Author: Abra Iruoghene.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NC) has collaborated with the Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) of the European Union (EU) for efficient export monitoring and trade facilitation.

During a meeting that took place at the Corporate Headquarters of NCS on February 27, 2024, the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, announced that the service is collaborating with DG TAXUD for efficiency in Export Monitoring and documentation.

With the Nigeria Customs Service as the competent authority for rules of origin, the Comptroller General assured that the Service will do all it can to facilitate the process, adding that peace will prevail if trade is permitted to flourish.

Notwithstanding, the CG acknowledged the initiative as a welcome idea working towards economic union by bringing the two economic blocks together. He said the initiative of the Registered Exporters is a welcome development.

CGC requested a framework between Customs and DG TAXUD that can be used to verify and validate export commodities. He stated the service is interested in a digital platform that will enhance the validation of documents.

According to the Comptroller General, “As part of our outreach program, we are also working with other agencies of the Nigerian government so that we maximize these opportunities. In the past, we’ve had goods from Nigeria returned because of quality, storage, and all of that”.

He said, “We’ve moved to establish a ‘one-stop-shop’ export seat for export documentation so that it will help us reduce the time taken for Nigerian exporters to get their goods out of our port. Earlier this month, we launched the Time Release Studies, which we are targeting towards importing of goods and how much it takes for businessmen to clear their goods in the port”.

Still speaking, he said, “We are also going to launch a similar exercise to have a scientific measure of how long and how much it costs our businessmen to export their products. The most important part is to identify if there are bureaucratic modules, procedures, or laws that are creating delays so that people can get their things off our port with speed”.

The CGC said, “My intention for us is to have a system that is better, faster, and easier for us to confirm your request within a very short period. I want us to talk about exportation like we all talk about importation”.

Also speaking, Gary Wilkinson, who works in the Rules of Origin in the Directorate-General Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD) in the EU, said the tariff discount for exported products is 4 percent, so when Nigerian products are exported, they get a discount.

He emphasized that as part of the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) scheme, they occasionally travel to developing countries to ensure that products sent to the European Union are indeed of Nigerian origin.

He stated that specific rules have been put in place to ascertain the origin of products under the GSP scheme. He said all their trade agreements are based on cooperation between the two Customs departments.

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Customs Corner

Nigeria Customs Service, WASP Collaborate for Enhanced Trade Security

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Author: Iruoghene Abra.

The Nigeria Customs Service has, on Tuesday 13 February, 2024 initiated an engagement with the West Africa Security Project (WASP) to acquaint officers on security awareness for effective trade facilitation and effective border security.

Addressing the delegates of the West Africa Security Project during a meeting at the Customs Corporate Headquarters, Abuja, Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR described the project as a medium that will benefit officers of the Service in the area of curbing smuggling and illegal trafficking of substances.

The CGC, who supported the collaboration between the Nigeria Customs Service and WASP, also described the initiative as great chance for officers to perform security duties.

CGC Bashir outlined some of the benefits of the program to encompass; cargo profiling, small arms and light weapon handling, global shield programs which deals with chemicals and radioactive elements, to share resources with stakeholders for synergy, amongst others.

According to CGC, “there is an existing project managed by the world bank that looks at the Lagos-Abidjan corridor whose aim is to promote trade facilition. Bringing in this new project that looks at the security aspect will boost our performances and potent a lot of opportunities for us.”

He added “We will be able to account for 60% of the GDP if we are able to cooperate effectively. This project requires the cooperation and collaboration of all the Customs administrations involved”.

Furthermore the CGC said that the program also entails field officers brainstorming and exchanging ideas. According to him, it will help officer know convergence of smuggling route to minimize smuggling and trafficking activities.

The project manager of West Africa Security Project (WASP) Terry Wall, outlined some of the benefits of the program to include; identification of high risk cargo, provision of training of national Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN), delivery of refresher training in the use of Customs Enforcement Network (CEN), joint activity to deliver GEOSPATIAL intelligence and High Level End-of-Project Evaluation with the donor.

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Customs Corner

Nigeria Customs Service Restates Commitment to Improve its Operations Base On Scientific Studies

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As Federal Government Collaborates with WCO, Others to Launch Time Release Study in TCIP

Author: Lucy Nyambi.

The Nigeria Customs Service has restated its commitment to improve Customs Operations based on the outcomes of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) assisted Time Release Study (TRS) Scoping Mission for Nigeria.

Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR made the commitment during the launching ceremony of the WCO-Assisted TRS Scoping Mission for Nigeria on Thursday, February 8, 2024.

The event, which was held in Lagos, had in attendance the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Mrs. Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Lydia Jafiya, Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola represented by the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Pius Akutah, DG NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, Captains of Industries, among other Stakeholders.

In his remarks, CGC Adeniyi stated that the TRS method is a systematic and standardized approach used to measure the total duration of time from the arrival of goods at the Customs border until their release.

He said, “The initiative represents a critical step in our ongoing efforts to optimize the trading experience and customs operations in Nigeria. It is a strategic endeavour
aimed at improving how we facilitate trade, ensuring alignment with international
best practices, and contributing substantially to national development”.

The CGC was emphatic when he restated the NCS’ commitment to enhancing trade efficiency and promoting
economic growth and national development.

He said, “The launch of the TRS in Lagos today underscores our commitment to improving customs operations and trade facilitation in Nigeria. In addition to TRS, the NCS is deploying the AEO program, Advanced Ruling, and establishing a Customs Laboratory as part of its ongoing efforts to facilitate trade and improve government revenue”.

“These initiatives are supported by the WCO, further emphasizing our dedication to enhancing trade efficiency and promoting economic growth and national development through collaboration, innovation, and strategic measures.” He emphasized.

Launching the TRS, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Wale Edun, represented by the permanent secretary, Lydia Jafiya, noted that the TRS falls aligns with the Federal Government’s renewed hope agenda, “which demonstrates the president’s commitment to unleashing full economic potential to and among other states. Redefining best approaches to create the enabling environment for businesses in addition to providing excellent services for economic operations”.

On her part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, opined that trade facilitation will enhance trade volume and lead to revenue generation.

“I implore you to redouble your efforts in focusing on trade facilitation. This is because when you facilitate trade, you’re enhancing our trade volume and making our nation more competitive, and then we can generate more revenue without increasing our levies”. She said.

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