Efficient Service Delivery :  Customs holds stakeholders’ roundtable

From right; Dr Boniface Aniebonam, the Freight Forwarder General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a retired Customs Officer at the stakeholders meeting, which was part of activities at CGC's conference in Lagos

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Efficient Service Delivery :  Customs holds stakeholders’ roundtable

In a bid to promote efficient service delivery, the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, held a roundtable session with maritime and excise stakeholders.

The meeting becomes necessary to proffer lasting solution to issues facing clearance processes in ports across the Country.

Stakeholders at the meeting

The meeting held in Lagos on Friday, December 15, 2023, was part of activities for the just concluded CGC’s Conference, 2023.

It was attended by senior serving and retired Customs Officers, Terminal Operators, Freight Forwarders, Licensed Customs Agents and Representatives of Excise Stakeholders, among others, to create a platform for interaction and identify the way forward to better Customs operations.

Stakeholders at the meeting

CGC Adeniyi clarified that concerns such as multiple alerts, frequent downtime of CPC, numerous checkpoints and difficulty accessing ports, among others, have been established in previous meetings as the next phase is to set time-bound solutions.

In his words, “Issues have been openly discussed. The main ones facing cargo clearance will be addressed by collaborating with key stakeholders on building a framework for the way forward to these outlined hurdles.

“There will be a commitment to the creation and implementation of new policies that are in line with decisions  taken today, and these approaches will be timebound to ensure we achieve the wanted objective soon,” he said.

A panel was set up encompassing representatives of stakeholders and the Nigeria Customs Service to address the concerns hindering effective port operations and achieve cumulative recommendations, which will be carried out by 1st quarter of 2024.

Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni, who was part of the panelists, encouraged port users and stakeholders to optimise weekend operations; he also encouraged the use of barge without making it a commercial process.

Stakeholders appreciated the CGC for bringing back CGC Annual Conference while expressing readiness to always work with Customs.

From right; Dr Boniface Aniebonam, the Freight Forwarder General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a retired Customs Officer, ACG  Edike, at the stakeholders’ meeting

The President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Tochukwu Ezeisi, said, for the first time in years, freight forwarders are happy because “our issues are being discussed and decisions are taken immediately.”

“CGC Adewale has shown seriousness in achieving his three-point agenda by bringing back this Conference, which is an avenue to listen to stakeholders, and we are ready to always work with the Service.” He added.

Alhaji Kazeem Isa Adua, the Deputy President of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), stated, “The CGC has done well in organising this Conference and with the positive body language seen today. We should expect smooth and optimised clearance process soon”.

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