African Free Trade Agreement : Customs harmonises procedures for greater economic growth 

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African Free Trade Agreement : Customs harmonises procedures for greater economic growth 

Gets NIIA Fellowship Conferment

Photographs taken during the programme

The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has said that Customs evolution of embracing paperless processes, fostering trade facilitation, fortifying capabilities for Rules of Origin(ROO), Implementation of Advance Ruling, Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) and engaging with the business community are harmonised with African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The CGC, who was a distinguished Lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, on Thursday November 16, 2023, delivered a lecture titled, “Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Development : Reforming, Positioning the Customs Service for African Continental Free Trade; other Emerging Challenges.”

CGC Adeniyi stated that while the mandate to generate revenue for government remains paramount, the evolving landscape demands equal attention to trade facilitation.

In his words; “Recognising the multifaceted role of Customs becomes
imperative to manage expectations regarding revenue generation. Striking a balance between facilitating trade and meeting revenue targets requires a nuanced approach.

“This involves making informed trade-off that translates into fostering sustainable economic development, particularly for small and medium-scale entrepreneurs. The Service must navigate these intricacies
adeptly to meet fiscal objectives and contribute significantly to the growth of Nigeria’s economy.”

The CGC noted that there is a pressing need to put Africans at the heart of Customs Operations, stressing that the inadequacy of transparent communication channels contributed to misunderstanding and inefficiencies in trade operations, posing challenges for both customs and the business community.

According to him;  “A transformative recommendation is to establish regular consultation platforms that prioritise transparent communication channels for constructive feedback from stakeholders.

“This proactive engagement strategy aims to dismantle historical barriers, ensuring that the customs operations
are not only efficient but also reflective of the needs and perspectives of diverse African business community.”

In the same vein, the CGC was conferred with the Fellowship of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs by the Director General of the Institute, Professor Eghosa Osaghae.

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