By Dapo Olawuni
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has disclosed that it has commenced training of 8, 000 of its officers in weapon handling in other to reduce incidences of accidental discharge of their weapons.
The service also said that they are also involving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to facilitate genuine process.
The Controller General of customs Col Hammed Ali (Rtd) made this disclosure during a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Thursday in Apapa.
Ali who was represented by the Assistant Controller General in charge of Zone A of the service, Kaycee Ekekezie also said that the service is working towards making the nation’s entry points business friendly.
She also said that with the adequate training coupled with the involvement of ICT, cost of doing businesses will be reduced.
“The Nigeria Customs knowing the importance of making entry points used friendly have been making significance improvement on that regards”
“We have also involved ICT process to facilitate genuine trade and it will also reduce the cost of doing business coupled with adequate training and I want to ads retraining of its personells”
“In fact right now we are training over 8, 000 officers for arm handling, how to carry arms. So that after that training there won’t be accidental discharge anymore, officers will know how best to carry their arms. And maybe NAGAFF should also train some of her members”
She however said that the enforcement unit of the service is well equipped to ensure compliance.
“In terms of security our enforcement units are well equipped to secure lives and property and ensure compliance. The service has also player the role of an arbita between the freight forwarders, government, shipping companies, terminal operators amongst others a the case maybe”
Ekekezie also reiterated that the service will be incomplete without the collaborative efforts of freight forwarders.
“It is important to note that the functions of the Nigeria Customs will not be complete without the collaborative efforts of freight forwarders as we all know you are a major stakeholder in the import and export processes”
The Zone A, coordinator also lauded NAGAFF for providing a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
“I thank the management of NAGAFF for providing a veritable platform for the Nigeria Customs Service and members of the NAGAFF platform to come together and rub minds, share views with the aim of helping one another to create a better business environment for the development of a friendly business environment for Nigerians. I also thank you for granting me the privilege of being here”
In his remark, the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam berated the Nigeria Customs Service for not carrying freight forwarders along in the recent increment in the exchange rate for cargo clearance.
Aniebonam said though the Customs was not in charge of setting the exchange rate policy, the area controllers on realising a change in the system should have convened a stakeholders meeting.
“Thank God you are here today based on request, when the Customs Comptroller General paid a visit to NAGAFF it was based on request which ought not to be so”
“I would expect that constant dialogue with stakeholders should not be on request, for instance when CBN, increased the exchange rate, we expected that the customs will call us to inform us but you didn’t, constant dialogue with us will be a good one and I would expect that soonest”. He said.
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