The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is going to undergo significant transformations as the newly appointed Acting Comptroller-General (CG), Adewale Adeniyi, takes over, spearheading innovative programs aimed at realising the service’s full potential.
The Nigerian Customs Service is prepared to alter customs practices for the better, with a strong emphasis on collaboration, interaction with international organizations, pursuit of cutting-edge technologies, and consolidation of prior accomplishments.
The appointment of Acting CG Adewale Adeniyi was announced on Monday, June 19, 2023, while he was attending the World Customs Organization (WCO) Policy Commission and Council meetings in Brussels, Belgium. Using this global platform, the Acting CG participated in topical discussions within the global Customs community, advocating for the exploration of AI-driven solutions and advanced geo-spatial intelligence approaches such as GEOINT. These technologies have enormous promise for improving Customs communication, decision-making processes, and enforcement activities.
The NCS has already established a GEOINT unit, leveraging geospatial data, mapping techniques, and satellite imagery to gain valuable insights for customs operations. Collaborative engagements are already underway to operationalise the use of GEOINT to enhance the efficiency of NCS enforcement operations and contribute to overall efficiency. These advancements underline the NCS’s proactive approach toward embracing cutting-edge technologies.
The Acting CG further engaged in strategic discussions with partners such as the WCO, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Japan Customs Administration. The discussions aim to garner support for the establishment of a customs Laboratory, a significant milestone in enhancing customs operations and trade facilitation across Nigeria.
Amidst the current landscape of evolving global trade dynamics, the NCS Laboratory will provide comprehensive solutions to address challenges such as counterfeit goods, smuggling, and non-compliant imports, thereby bolstering revenue generation and ensuring the protection of public health and safety. With its advanced analytical capabilities, the laboratory is expected to deliver precise identification, verification, and classification of goods, enabling efficient enforcement measures and informed decision-making, while fostering an environment of trust and credibility within Nigeria’s trade ecosystem, marking a transformative step towards achieving seamless customs operations, trade competitiveness, and national economic growth in line with the vision of the President Tinubu Led Administration.
The outcome of the council meeting witnessed the election of Ian Saunders of the United States as the new Secretary General of the WCO, an important position that sets the direction for customs practices worldwide.