Connect with us

Customs Corner

WCO Regional Training Centre for West and Central African Region Conducts Workshop on Data Collection, Analytics



WCO Regional Training Centre for West and Central African Region Conducts Workshop on Data Collection, Analytics

By Muhammad Bashir

The World Customs Organization Regional Training Centre for West and Central African Region with its Headquarters in Abuja has flagged off a 3-day regional workshop on Data Collection and Analytics for its members in Nigeria’s Capital, Abuja.

The event which took place from Monday 15th to 17th May 2023 was attended by over 40 Customs officials representing different Customs Administrations from the region.

The Project beneficiary countries are Burkina Faso, Tchad, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Gabon, Gambia, Mali, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Republic of Benin, Republic of Guinea, Equatorial Guinea and Togo.

Declaring the workshop opened, Vice Chair WCO West and Central African Region who doubles as the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) CFR, described the capacity building as timely, stressing that the training will reshape NCS’ determination of addressing the challenges in the globalization of trade and business, international terrorism and organized crimes amongst others.

He said that the Nigeria Customs Service has made tremendous achievements in the area of accessing and collecting data from trade, which if utilized properly, will enable the Service to meet its target.

“There is a demand for the evolution of Customs’ roles to meet challenges such as globalization of business and trade, international terrorism and organized crimes amongst others. Operationally, we can access and collect large amounts of data from trade, which if effectively utilized, will give us an opportunity to meet our modern expectations of achieving proper data analytics, that will help Customs’ administration in terms of evidence-based decision making.” Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) said.

According to him, the Nigeria Customs Service has made giant strides through trade facilitation, improving compliance, better allocation of resources and many other activities, “these strengthen our ability to deliver on our core functions as both revenue generation, trade facilitation and advancing the security status of the Nigerians.” He added.

“Therefore, every Customs administration must make a concerted effort to enhance its process of collecting data and analytic process. This is what empowered the Nigeria Customs Service in collaborating with the World Customs Organization for the band of data analysts, the BACUDA project.” CGC Hameed Ali said.

The Comptroller-General who revealed how his administration succeeded in establishing a data fusion unit to liberate the benefit of data collection and analytics, also commended the regional training centre for organizing the two-day capacity building on Data Collection and Analytics.

He also urged the participants to use the opportunity as means of changing the narrative in terms of data collection and analytics at their workplaces.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Assistant Comptroller, Kenneth Olowo thanked the WCO for its efforts to deliver the workshop on this important topic and urged the participating Members to pay attention to the deliberations – and motivate themselves to explore the potential of the data analytics.

AC Kenneth said that the Capacity Building was aimed at sharing new ideas on further steps to share information on Data Analytics technologies, emphasizing that data collection and analytics remain the major priorities for the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd).

He also urged them to actively participate in discussions, which according to him, will ultimately make the workshop a successful one.

“The workshop is one of the criteria for the West and Central African region, and we are focusing on data collection and analytics – because it is an area that World Customs Organization is so interested in. We expect our participants to be trained on how data are being gathered and analyzed.” AC Kenneth said.

According to him, venturing into data analytics will go a long way in promoting the economic status of the country, “and is in line with the Nigeria Customs Service’s topmost policies of collecting data in the area of revenue, enforcement, accounts, system auditing and PAAR ruling centre.” He added.

He said, “Therefore training our officers in the area of data management and analytics will surely help in boosting the economy of the country because Nigeria Customs Service helps in planning the economic policies for the Nigerian Government by issuing accurate statistics to the authorities.”

Addressing the participants virtually, the Director of Capacity Building World Customs Organization, Taeil Kang, welcomed and encouraged participants to promote and share information on Data Analytics technologies.

He emphasized his intentions to continue supporting members of the WCO whenever they deemed it necessary to hold capacity-building activities in the region.

Some of the participants who shared their opinion on the ongoing workshop expressed optimism that the capacity building will enhance capacity in data collection and analytics.

Continue Reading



Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading