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Customs Corner

President Buhari’s Guidance, Key to Customs’ Transformation- CGC, Col. Hameed Ali



President Buhari's Guidance, Key to Customs' Transformation- CGC, Col. Hameed Ali

By: Bashir Mohammed

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) CFR has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being the ‘harbinger’ of the new Customs, through his hyper-focus on transforming the Service to a more developed entity.

CGC Hameed Ali who made this known on Tuesday during the inauguration ceremony for the new customs Corporate Headquarters in Maitama, Abuja said, “The Service has witnessed remarkable milestones that revolutionized its operations and brought it closer to its goal of becoming a world-class customs administration, through President Muhammadu Buhari’s guidance.”

Speaking further, the CGC also appreciated President Buhari for signing into law, the Customs Bill, which according to him, will bring an end to the old law which has been in force for the past 63 years.

“This landmark legislation represents a significant achievement for the Nigeria Customs Service and the entire nation. It provides us with a comprehensive legal framework that aligns with international best practices, strengthens our regulatory capabilities, and fosters trade facilitation.” CGC Hameed Ali said.

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He further said that the Service is reaching the skies and attaining remarkable stages due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to creating an enabling business environment, and promoting transparency and accountability in customs operations.

He commended the President for making a giant stride in eradicating corruption amongst the Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service and leading it to the path of integrity, by approving the 100% increase in their remuneration.

The CG also applauded President Buhari for actualizing the Customs Modernisation Project (CMP), which he described as “a transformative initiative that aims to modernize all aspects of Nigeria Customs Service operations through the innovative use of technology.”

“With Your Excellency’s backing, we have embarked on a journey to digitalize our processes, enhance efficiency, and improve service delivery. The CMP will not only streamline our operations but also contribute to trade facilitation, revenue optimization, security and the overall economic growth of our nation.” He said.

“Our gratitude equally goes to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, for your support throughout your tenure. We remain appreciative of your role as Chairman of the Nigeria Customs Service Board in setting broad policies and guiding their implementation. Through you, we are also thanking your Colleagues in the Federal Executive Council, for their support to the Service.” CGC Hameed Ali added.

The Customs Boss however, said the efforts being made by the Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service will not go unnoticed, adding that “their effort, unwavering commitment, professionalism, and sacrifices have been instrumental in shaping the success of our organization.”

“I commend their dedication to duty, particularly in safeguarding our borders, combating smuggling, and ensuring compliance with customs regulations. This milestone would not have been possible without their tireless efforts.”

He also expressed gratitude to the partners and stakeholders of NCS, including trade associations, private sector partners, and international organizations for their continuous collaboration and support.

“Their invaluable contributions have been instrumental in shaping our strategies, enhancing trade facilitation, and promoting a culture of compliance.” He added.

The CGC who expressed resilient commitment that the Service will remain resolute in delivering on its mandate with the utmost professionalism, integrity, and efficiency, also pledged to leverage the newly commissioned headquarters, equipped with modern infrastructure and technology, to drive its transformation agenda forward.

“Let me express our heartfelt gratitude to Your Excellency, Mr President, for your exemplary leadership, guidance, and support. Your commitment to the development of the Nigeria Customs Service and our nation as a whole is truly commendable. We stand ready to fulfil our responsibilities and contribute to the socio-economic progress of our beloved nation.” He concluded.

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Customs Corner

Borders Not Recently Opened, Disregard Fake News – Customs



Author: Muhammad Bashir.

The Nigeria Customs Service has urged members of the public to disregard the purported viral video on the recent reopening of the border.

The Service, through the National Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Customs Abdullahi Maiwada, described the video as malicious to mislead Nigerians.

The National P.R.O. who made this disclosure during a populous Human Rights Radio Brekete Family Show in Abuja on Tuesday morning also urged Nigerians to always embrace authentic news, especially from the right channels.

“For over a year, Idroko and other selected approved borders are opened for legitimate trade. It is only the borders in the northeastern part of the country that are closed due to security issues. But major land borders in the South-West, North-West, and Ikang Border in the SouthSouth are all opened for legitimate trade,” he said.

Speaking further, the PRO said that the activities of the Service are critical to national development considering its pivotal roles in the area of revenue generation, suppressing smuggling and trade facilitation.

He stated that the Service, under the leadership of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) CFR, has recorded various accomplishments over the years in the area of revenue generation, restructuring and reforms.

“In the last couple of years, there were a lot of significant events that brought about a paradigm shift in the activities of the Nigeria Customs Service. First of all, we used to have a sixty-three-year-old law that was not in line with the reality of 21st Century Customs.

“Today we have a brand new law called Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. A legal framework that will enhance our performance,” he stated.

According to him, even the process through which Nigeria Customs Service recruits personnel has changed with transparent processes based on federal character principles.

In the area of technology, CSC Maiwada said that the Service has succeeded in embracing a modern system in its processes and procedures, having realized the importance of automation – which according to him, has resulted in creating a new program called Fast-Track 2.0 for compliant traders, non-intrusive inspection among many other initiatives.

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Customs Corner

Customs FOU ‘A’ Intercepts 9,857 Parcels Of Cannabis Sativa, others Worth N1Billion in 1 Month



Author: Lucy Nyambi.

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ has intercepted some smuggled items for contravening various Sections of Customs laws.

In its Monthly Press Briefing for May, the Ag. Comptroller in charge of the Unit, DC Hussein Ejibunu said, Some of the wares were intercepted for either violating the guidelines on the importation/exportation of goods, concealment, undervaluation, wrong classification and smuggling. Others were seized for contravening policy directives as it is in the case of foreign parboiled rice.

According to him, “Detentions and seizures recorded within the period under review amounted to 79 seizures, with a total duty paid value of N1,025,905,110”.

Notable among the seizures are:
6,861 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each (equivalent to 12 trailer loads), 1,236 jerry cans X 25 litres (30,900 litres) of petroleum,
9,857 parcels (5,338 kg) of cannabis sativa, 2 X 20 of unprocessed wood.
4 units of used vehicles (Tokunbo)
40 X 5 jerry cans of vegetable oil.
54 bales of second-hand clothing.
4 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the intercepted goods.

“For ongoing prosecution of suspects, the Federal High Court at Abeokuta-Ogun, sentenced Musa Oloyede, Fishing Godwin David and Adeniyi Alaye, to two years imprisonment for assaulting our officers while carrying out their statutory duties”. Ejibunu noted.

On revenue, the Unit generated the sum of N38,355,362.88 through documentary checks, followed by the issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have paid lesser amounts than the appropriate Customs Duty.

“Consequent to the social effect of cannabis sativa on the youths, it becomes very worrisome that a total of 9,857 parcels were seized in a single swoop”. Ejibunu noted.

“Crime experts have found a direct relationship between the intake of this controlled plant and violent crimes”. He emphasized.

“We are conscious of this challenge and will continually cut the supply chain of illicit drugs and other prohibited substances” he further stressed.

He urged citizens to promptly share useful information with operatives that will assist to checkmate the menace of smuggling.

“Since smuggling is a crime that deals in illegal trade, such as illicit drugs and prohibited weapons, Nigerians should see insecurity and other crimes as products of smuggling”. He said.

“The perpetrators should be considered as common enemies of the land that must be jointly fought by all citizens”. He concluded.

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Customs Corner

Customs PTML Welcomes Comptroller Saidu Yusuf, As Mahmoud Ibrahim Bows Out



Author: Cynthia Idowu; Lagos.

Comptroller Saidu Abba Yusuf has assumed Office as the new Area Controller of the Ports Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) of the Nigeria Customs Service in Lagos, following the statutory retirement of Comptroller Mahmoud Ibrahim, the former CAC.

The occasion was held at the command headquarters in Lagos on Monday the 5th of June, 2023.

The new CAC commended his predecessor for a job well done and asked for maximum cooperation from the operatives and stakeholders of the PTML.

He commended Mahmud for setting up mechanisms for increased revenue collection, trade facilitation, and strict enforcement, as he also urged all port users operating in PTML to make compliance a lifestyle.

According to him, compliance saves clearance time, improves revenue collection, and builds up the integrity rating for traders towards enjoying fast-track benefits and possible migration to the status of the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO).

“Voluntary compliance creates a win-win situation for everyone as it prevents losses that result from seizures, demand notices, and penalties which come in the course of enforcement,” Yusuf added.

He assured the PTML Management, bonded terminal operators, shipping companies, importers, exporters, freight forwarders, and haulage operators of an open-door policy to sustain and improve on the template of trade facilitation.

He also noted that the command will rigorously implement all government policies, including those that encourage ease of doing business without compromising national security and government revenue.

Comptroller Yusuf hails from Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State but was born in Kaduna.

He obtained a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degree in History from the University of Maiduguri, Borno state. He also holds a Master’s degree in International law and diplomacy (MILD) from the University of Lagos.

The CAC joined the Nigeria Customs Service in 1991 and has vast experience spanning over three decades in the Service.

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