NCS Ag. C-G to treat stakeholders, traders, officers with impartiality, respect


…Vows to remove trade encumbrances

By Abiodun OBA

The newly appointed Acting Comptroller-General (C-G) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr. Adewale Adeniyi, has pledged to treat all esteemed stakeholders as partners who have a stake in the success of the service as his administration is firmly committed to fairness.

Addressing the top echelon of the Service after taking over the NCS at its headquarters in Abuja, Adeniyi pledged to dismantle all obstacles to trade in the country and vigorously pursue trade facilitation as a key mandate of the NCS.

His words, “We will prioritize efficiency in service delivery as the bedrock of trade facilitation and revenue generation. No longer shall encumbrances impede trade; we shall dismantle obstacles and foster a new culture of consultations and compliance.”

Mr. Adeniyi said that his administration would be guided by the principles of professionalism, integrity, and the highest ethical standards.

“Over the past eight years, the Nigeria Customs Service has embarked on a journey of transformation, focused on reforms, restructuring, and revenue generation.

“We have witnessed critical adjustments to meet the evolving needs and strategic objectives of our Service. As beneficiaries and ambassadors of these reforms, many of us have played pivotal roles in training, retraining, and mentoring the future generation of Customs officers.

“Our administration is committed to adopting a bottom-up approach, where the needs of our dear nation take precedence over everything else,” he said.

On a highly technologically driven service, the new Customs boss said, “It is crucial for us to recognize the modern realities and challenges to Customs operations. In today’s interconnected and technologically advanced world, we face emerging threats that require our utmost attention.

“E-commerce, global supply chains, and transnational criminal networks pose challenges to our role as custodians of trade facilitation and enforcement. We must adapt to these changing landscapes, leveraging technology, intelligence-led operations, and effective risk management strategies.

“Collaboration with international partners, law enforcement agencies, and customs administrations of other nations will be vital in combating illicit trade and securing our national interests.”

According to Mr. Adeniyi, NCS witnessed a remarkable achievement with the signing of the new Customs Act and that it marked a pivotal moment in the organisation’s efforts to enhance trade facilitation, streamline procedures, and strengthen enforcement measures.

He said, “The new Customs Act provides us with a robust legal framework that aligns with international best practices, ensuring transparency, efficiency, and compliance in our operations.

“It empowers us to effectively tackle emerging challenges, adapt to evolving trade dynamics, and safeguard our national interests.

“Under this act, we have the opportunity to introduce innovative measures that will further enhance our customs processes, such as the implementation of advanced risk management systems, the integration of cutting-edge technologies, and the simplification of trade procedures.

“These advancements will not only boost our revenue generation capabilities but also promote a conducive business environment that attracts investments and spurs economic growth.”

On his plans for the staff, he said, “In order to achieve our objectives, it is imperative that we bridge the current human resource gap within our ranks. We recognize the importance of capacity building and career advancement for our officers.

“The administration will work diligently to implement career advancement opportunities approved by the board, ensuring that competence remains the sole criterion for assigning responsibilities and measuring effectiveness.

“Our focus is on cultivating a highly skilled workforce that is equipped to face the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

“Staff welfare is of paramount importance to us. We acknowledge the harsh and hostile environment in which our officers and men are compelled to function.

“Therefore, we commit ourselves to prioritize the welfare and well-being of our personnel. By providing better remunerations, improved accommodation, life insurance, and quality healthcare, we aim to create an environment that supports and motivates our workforce. We understand that a well-motivated team is instrumental in achieving our aims and objectives.”

The Ag. CGC said that he would ensure collaboration and partnership with other government agencies to ensure a smooth trading environment, while working to secure the nation.

He said, “We value the relationships we have built with our Partner Government Agencies and the private sector.

“These collaborations have been vital to our adoption of technology as a tool to enhance revenue generation and streamline processes. We will strengthen these partnerships and engage with stakeholders through revitalized platforms.

“The Nigeria Customs Service will continue to treat its esteemed stakeholders as partners who have a stake in our success. This administration is firmly committed to fairness.

“We shall treat all stakeholders, traders, and officers alike with impartiality and respect. Our decisions and actions will be guided by principles of transparency and discipline.

“We understand that our conduct shapes the public’s perception of the Service, and we will strive to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and ethical behaviour. Indiscipline will not be tolerated as we prioritize fairness and equity.”

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