Customs inaugurate WCO led PCA, AEO Diagnostic Mission for Trade Facilitation

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By Innocent Orok

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, on Monday, 29 January 2024, said the Service has implemented robust risk management strategies to enhance the integrity of Customs processes and mitigate risks.

The Customs boss, who made this known while declaring open a two-week retreat on the Inauguration of World Customs Organisation (WCO) led Post Clearance Audit (PCA) & Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) Diagnostic Mission for Senior NCS Officers at Wells Carlton Hotel Conference Room in Abuja, said the Service has taken a measure that will significantly improve the efficiency of supply chains and ease the way to conducting meticulous post-clearance audit.

He furthermore spotlighted the aim to foster innovation and entrepreneurship across various sectors, saying that through tailored training, support, and incentives, we aspire to enable SMEs to qualify for AEO status in the coming years.

He said the initiative underscores our commitment to inclusive growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation, ensuring that all segments of society benefit from trade facilitation and economic development opportunities.

According to him, the initiative is also aimed at evaluating entry barriers for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and systematically addressing them.

He added “the objectives and activities of the mission, particularly in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and Nigeria’s strategic position in the global trade framework.”

The CGC emphasized that AfCFTA serves as a beacon for regional integration and economic progress in Africa, and the crucial role of PCA and AEO is essential for its successful implementation.

He said that at the regional level, these initiatives nurture trade facilitation and economic progress by refining customs procedures, fortifying compliance mechanisms, and promoting transparency.

The CGC concluded by extending his heartfelt gratitude to the World Customs Organization and commended the dedication and expertise of all stakeholders: WCO-led PCA, IMF, World Bank, and AEO Diagnostic Mission.

The Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs (DCG), in charge of Tariff and Trade, Abdullahi Musa, took the welcome address saying that Nigeria is a home for trade and investment, urging the officers to embrace innovation, collaboration, and continuous improvement in Customs practices.

He also emphasized the mission’s goal to enhance compliance mechanisms, foster trade facilitation, and contribute to the broader objectives of the World Customs Organization in promoting border security and fostering sustainable economic development globally.

Continuing his speech, DCG Musa thanked the World Bank Group experts and the International Monetary Fund for their support and partnership. He commended the dedication and expertise of all stakeholders involved in the mission, whose contributions will yield a prosperous future for the Nigeria Customs Service.

The opening ceremony of the World Customs Organization-led Post Clearance Audit and Authorized Economic Operator Diagnostic mission is a two-week program organized by Nigeria Customs Service to accelerate trade facilitation.

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