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Customs decries low trade volume in Africa, partners AfCFTA secretariat

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By Abiodun OBA

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Tuesday, has decried the low trade volume in Africa, stating that the continent currently holds only around 3-4 percent of global trade.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, expressed concern while speaking during the meeting with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) members at the Customs Corporate Headquarters in Abuja.

CGS Adeniyi also announced a partnership with AfCFTA Secretariat to boost trade in Africa while highlighting the stagnant growth of the African trade system at 14-15 percent over the past few years.

Recognizing the economic benefits of trade, including economic growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation, Adeniyi expressed enthusiasm for the potentials of AfCFTA and its objective of creating a Continental Free Trade Area.

CGC Adeniyi described the Guide Trade Initiative as an important tool for countries to expand their trade markets and emphasized the need for collaboration in verifying goods origin at ports.

He further shared that his Administration has implemented measures to improve trade facilitation in Nigeria.

In the first quarter of the year, they plan to conduct a time-release study in collaboration with other government agencies to streamline processes. He also emphasized the importance of data analytics and announced plans to train officers in this field.

In his remarks, the Secretary-General of AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene, congratulated Adeniyi on his appointment and expressed excitement about finding solutions to trade challenges in Africa.

He emphasized the importance of cooperation between AfCFTA and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in addressing trade impediments. Mr. Mene expressed optimism that the collaboration between AfCFTA and NCS would significantly enhance trade and revenue generation in various African countries.

The partnership between AfCFTA and NCS aims at streamlining customs procedures, reduce trade barriers, and enhance cross-border trade efficiency. It is seen as a crucial step in promoting intra-African trade and economic integration.

He said the visit of the Secretary-General marks a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to harness Africa’s economic potential through improved trade practices.

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