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Customs Corner

Customs New CG, Adewale Adeniyi Unlocks Innovative Projects

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Author: Cynthia Idowu

Nigeria Customs Services’ (NCS) new Ag. Comptroller General, Adewale Adeniyi, who was appointed by President Bola Tinubu on Monday 19th June 2023 has outlined Innovative Projects aimed at giving the Service a face-lift.

According to a Press Release, signed by the spokesperson of the Service, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, the Projects are aimed at unlocking the full potential of the Service. With a strong focus on collaboration, engagement with International Organizations in the pursuit of cutting-edge technologies and consolidating on previous gains.

“While he was attending the Policy Commission and Council meetings of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) in Brussels, Belgium. Leveraging this global platform, the Acting CG engaged in topical discussions within the Global Customs Community, advocating for the exploration of AI-driven solutions, including Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions like ChatGPT and advanced geo-spatial intelligence approaches such as GEOINT. These technologies present immense potential for enhancing communication, decision-making processes and enforcement operations within Customs.” The Statement reads.

The National Public Relations Officer also said, a GEOINT unit leveraging on geospatial data, mapping techniques and satellite imagery to gain valuable insights for customs operations has been established and collaborative engagements are already underway to operationalise the use of GEOINT to enhance the efficiency of NCS enforcement operations.

“These advancements underline NCS’s proactive approach toward embracing cutting-edge technologies.”

According to him, the Acting CG further engaged in strategic discussions with partners such as the WCO, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japan Customs Administration. The discussions aim to garner support for the establishment of a Customs Laboratory, a significant milestone in enhancing Customs operations and Trade Facilitation across Nigeria.

Amidst the current landscape of evolving global trade dynamics, the NCS’ Laboratory will provide comprehensive solutions to address challenges such as counterfeit goods, smuggling and non-compliant imports, thereby bolstering revenue generation and ensuring the protection of public health and safety.

With its advanced analytical capabilities, the Laboratory is expected to deliver precise identification, verification and classification of goods, enabling efficient enforcement measures and informed decision-making, while fostering an environment of trust and credibility within Nigeria’s trade ecosystem, marking a transformative step towards achieving seamless Customs operations, trade competitiveness and national economic growth in line with the vision of the President Tinubu Led Administration.

Similarly, the Acting CG, Adeniyi’s engagements extended to fruitful discussions with relevant experts and donors, focusing on crucial areas such as conducting a Time Release Study (TRS), implementing the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program, Leadership, and Management Development. These discussions underscore his commitment to comprehensive improvements and his inclination to adopt innovative solutions across various customs domains, ultimately enhancing Customs operations.

The outcome of the Council Meeting witnessed the election of Ian Saunders of the United States as the new Secretary General of the WCO, an important position that sets the direction for Customs practices worldwide. This election highlights the significance of the Council Meeting and the influential role the NCS played in shaping the future of Customs operations on a global scale.

Under the leadership of the Acting CG, the Nigeria Customs Service is embarking on an exciting journey towards enhanced Customs efficiency. Through international collaborations, engagement with the WCO, exploration of AI-driven solutions and strategic discussions, the NCS is pioneering innovative projects. With a strong emphasis on technology and International Partnerships, the NCS is well-positioned to make substantial advancements in Customs operations, ultimately benefiting trade facilitation, security, and operational effectiveness.

Customs Corner

Customs Oyo/Osun Command Intercepts Fake Drugs, Others, Worth Over N1.8B

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…As Comptroller Ben Expresses Dedication to Protect Well-being of Citizens

Author: Lucy Nyambi.

The Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun Area Command, has intercepted sacks of fake Pharmaceutical drugs worth over N1.8billion.

Customs Area Controller Comptroller Ben Oramalugo disclosed this to reporters during a press briefing at the Command headquarters on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

Comptroller Ben stated that the Commands anti-smuggling activities have been strategically positioned to ensure the Federal Government’s policy on border closure is totally enforced by preventing the importation of prohibited items harmful to the great citizens of Nigeria. He also expressed the effort to prevent the exportation of essential food resources for individual economic gains by some economic saboteurs.

“We have successfully intercepted and seized contraband goods, including items that pose threats to economic stability and lives of citizens in the country,” He added.

Highlights of the seizures include 53 sacks of fake Pharmaceutical drugs with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ₦1,739,000,000.00, 1,309 pieces of used tyres with a DPV of ₦70,140,000.00.

Others are; 345 × 50kg bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice, 344 × 25 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 4 Wraps (4 Kilogram) of Indian Hemp, 45 Sacks, 8 Sacks (9 Bales) of Used Clothings and Shoes, 34 Cartons of Foreign Wine, and 40 Bottles (5 litres), 21 Bottles (1 litres) of Foreign Vegetable Oil, all with a Total DPV of N1,890,022,931.00.

The CAC stated that, despite the prevailing economic challenges, the Command demonstrated resilience and efficiency in revenue generation by collecting the sum of N5,664,295,751.15 in February 2024. When added to the sum of N6,824,954,338.96, already collected for January 2024, the cumulative sum of N12,489,250,090.11 was collected so far for the fiscal year of 2024.

Comptroller Ben reiterated that all Borders within the Commands Area of Responsibility are still closed due to the Federal Government policy on Border closure and as such, “Command Officers remain vigilant and dedicated to preventing the smuggling of items that could compromise the health and well-being of our citizens.”

He appreciated the efforts of all Traditional Rulers, Local Government Chairmen and Key Stakeholders in both Oyo and Osun States, who have continued to enlighten their people about the negative effect of smuggling on the economy.

The CAC expressed the Nigeria Customs Service’s unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and the nation’s overall well-being. “We are confident that, through collective efforts, we can overcome the challenges we face and contribute to a more secure and prosperous future for Nigeria.”

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Customs Corner

COWA Collaborates with Youths, Women to Combat Drug Abuse

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Author: Iruoghene Abra, Muhammad Bashir.

The National President of the Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA), Mrs. Kikelomo Adeniyi, has expressed readiness to partner with the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria as part of her plans to empower women through various ‘progressive’ programs aimed at improving their economic status.

Mrs. Kikelomo made this declaration during a meeting with members of the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria, led by Ambassador Ibrahim Ibrahim, at the COWA National Secretariat on Thursday, 29 February 2024. She also emphasized her dedication to supporting women through educational initiatives.

In an address, Mrs. Kikelomo commended the organization’s executives for their tireless efforts in achieving the organization’s goals and objectives. She urged the young executives to continue their exemplary work in serving humanity.

Highlighting COWA’s activities, the President outlined initiatives such as providing support for women and children, empowering them with new skills and startup kits, and serving as the voice for the voiceless in society.

She emphasized that COWA stands as a pillar of support for wives and children during times of need, advocating for the rights of women who face similar challenges and discrimination in society.

Addressing the importance of mutual support, the COWA National President stressed the significance of women supporting each other to overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential.

She remarked, “The strength of a woman should not be measured by the challenges she faces but by her resilience in overcoming them.”

Continuing, she emphasized, “A healthy wife brings a wealthy life, as the well-being of women is crucial for the prosperity of households and communities.”

Mrs. Adeniyi highlighted the transformative power of education for women, stating, “When women are empowered, they contribute significantly to the economy, health, education, and all sectors of society, leading to positive change.”

She advocated for women to hold significant societal positions, citing their consistent ability to surpass expectations.

Mrs. Adeniyi reiterated COWA’s commitment to empowering women and children, expressing willingness to collaborate with the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria to achieve shared objectives.

In response, the National Coordinator of the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria, Ambassador Ibrahim Ibrahim, briefed COWA on the organization’s activities, which include encouraging women to embrace education and advocating against child abuse and domestic violence.

He highlighted the organization’s focus on supporting widows and children, facilitating skill acquisition, and caring for the elderly, praising Mrs. Adeniyi’s leadership and integrity expressing confidence in her ability to lead COWA to greater heights.

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Agriculture

Customs Pledges Support to Boost Hibiscus Industry in Jigawa State

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Author: Gift Wada.

The Nigeria Customs, on Tuesday, 27 February 2024, restated its commitment to support the Jigawa State Government in boosting the production and exportation of Hibiscus flowers in the state.

The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Dauda Ibrahim Chana, voiced his support during the official commissioning of the COMTTRA JIGAWA Hibiscus processing company by Governor Umar Namadi at the Magatari Border Free Zone in Jigawa state.

He pledged backing for the project, expressing the commitment of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, to promote exports, maintain trade balance, and safeguard national revenue and security.

“As a service, I wish to reiterate our commitment to support this laudable initiative and at the same time pledge our maximum co-operation for the effective take-off of this wonderful programme,” he said

While commending Governor Namadi, Chana highlighted the significance of the hibiscus plant in fostering value addition, encouraging exports, and generating employment opportunities.

On his part, the Bauchi State Governor, Umar Namadi, stated that the partnership aims to establish a cutting-edge Fumigation Chamber and a state-of-the-art cleaning and processing facility dedicated to hibiscus flowers. Operating under the brand name “Comttra Jigawa,” these facilities are poised to streamline production processes and elevate quality standards in the industry. This transformative collaboration seeks to position Jigawa as a leading center for hibiscus production and processing across Nigeria.

According to the Governor, In a bid to revolutionize the hibiscus value chain within its borders, the Jigawa State Government and Comttraex Nigeria Limited had inked a landmark Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement on April 19, 2022.

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