Minister Calls on Customs to Collaborate with its Stakeholders

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By Innocent Orok

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, has called on the Nigeria Customs Service and its stakeholders to work together, assuring his ministry support to address all the problems bewildering the maritime industry.

The Minister who was a special guest at the 2024 International Customs Day celebrations, held in Lagos on Friday said in his address that
the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy was established by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu with the goal of enhancing Nigeria’s economy by tapping into the vast potential of the maritime domain, valued at over US$24 trillion, supporting 90% of global trade, and generating millions of jobs.

His address said:
“I am honoured and delighted to deliver a keynote address at this gathering of esteemed stakeholders as we commemorate the 2024 International Customs Day under the theme: ‘Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose.’

“The Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy was established by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu with the goal of enhancing Nigeria’s economy by tapping into the vast potential of the maritime domain, valued at over US$24 trillion, supporting 90% of global trade, and generating millions of jobs.

“As it has been expressed by the WCO Secretary General in his message to the global customs community and their stakeholders, collaboration is germane in achieving trade facilitation and the security of the internal supply chain.

To this end, we must integrate sustainability into policies and strategies, bolster investments in ports, research, and technology, and, most importantly, foster inclusive alliances among our stakeholders and partners, including the Nigerian Ports Authority, transporters, freight forwarders, shippers, NIMASA, and the Nigerian Customs Service.

“The recent passage of the Nigerian Customs Act 2023 creates a favourable environment for trade. It recognises opportunities, addresses challenges, and encourages partnership between the public and private sectors.

“In this era of increased interdependence, Customs and its stakeholders must work hand in hand to ensure the overall success of initiatives that will help unlock the immense potential of collaboration and increase revenue generation.

At this juncture, let me commend the leadership of customs for agreeing to abandon the physical examination of cargoes at our ports and priotising the use of scanners. This development would not only increase revenue, it will ensure ports efficiency and competitiveness. And it will reduce drastically the cargo turnaround time.

“It is by committing to cooperation that we can enhance our effectiveness in safeguarding our waterways and facilitating global trade.

“With unwavering commitment, I assure you of my ministry’s support for collaborative engagements with stakeholders in the international trade community, aiming for a more sustainable use of Ocean and Coastal Resources for Economic Growth.

“I, therefore, urge each one of you to carry forward the spirit of today’s event. Let us not only remember the achievements but also look ahead with enthusiasm for the collaborations and partnerships that await us. Together, we can continue to forge meaningful connections, foster innovation, and truly engage with purpose.”

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