The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is set to host first Meeting of African Union Sub- Committee of Directors General of Customs from 23rd to 25th of May 2017 in Abuja.
The meeting will be attended by fifty African countries with their Heads of Customs Administrations in attendance and it will address issues concerning trans-border trade, movements of goods and trade facilitation without compromising security.
Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah , said Nigeria’s Comptroller General of Customs , Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, (Rtd.) will play host to other Customs chiefs in the continent to brainstorm on harnessing collective customs potentials for the continent’s economic advancement.
The theme of the meeting according to Attah is ”Entering into Force of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement: Implication for African Customs Administrations”
Attah, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs said ” Our Comptroller General and other visiting Directors General will deliberate on the theme of the meeting and seek ways of contributing to the growth of African economy through modernised, effective and development driven customs administrations.
“This Nigeria meeting hopes to evolve a common front and a cohesive continental work plan aimed at having a uniform agenda with agreed voting pattern as being done by customs administrations from other continental blocs. A common position in the governance of the World Customs Organisation(WCO) Summit”
”The meeting will also seek to collapse bureaucratic bottlenecks affecting moving of goods across borders for traders. Simplification, modernization and harmonization of export and import processes shall be critically viewed as these has emerged as important issues for the world trading system which Africa cannot be left out”
Attah said that Nigeria is viewed as a leading player in Customs matters in the continent with the Regional Training Centre for West and Central Africa sited in Abuja.
It will be recalled that Nigeria’s influence in international economic matters in Africa had existed many years back before leaders in West African region formed the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975.
The choice of Nigeria for the maiden edition of the meeting, Attah said, is a further demonstration of confidence on Nigeria as a safer destination for international engagements. This will positively impact on tourism and businesses.
The continental approach to a unified customs agenda is widely viewed as being in sync with Nigerian government Ease of Doing Business agenda which seeks to remove all trade barriers and promote seamless logistics in the export, import and manufacturing sectors.