The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it is developing special intelligence with the support of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to integrate technology into its operations.
The acting Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Mr Adewale Adeniyi, said this at a media conference at the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, on Wednesday in Lagos. Adeniyi said the Service has been getting assurances from the WCO and other partners as it moves to go fully digital.
NewsTimes recalls that the immediate past Comptroller-General of the NCS, retired Col. Hameed Ali, had early this year announced plans to fully automate the services of the NCS as he inaugurated a $3.2 billion modernization project to end manual administration. Adeniyi, however, noted that the e-modernization project of Customs has been having issues.
While highlighting the efforts of the NCS in building the capacity of its officers for the digital era, the acting Comptroller-General said:
- “We are getting very firm assurance from the World Customs Organisation and other partners to assist us with technology adoption.
- “We are building the capacity of our officers locally, through training institutions and exposing them to this kind of training program and taking them to conferences. This is so that they can learn expertise on how they can integrate these elements of technology into our operations.”
Adeniyi noted that he had visited the commands in the South-West and had seen them up close at work and reviewed their strategies with them. He said that he had a very intense engagement with the officers and the results of these efforts were seen with the seizures witnessed recently.
- “I have had a very rewarding experience with my tour of some commands, had the opportunity to interact closely with the officers and understand the way they operate.
- “The communities visited told us the challenges they had with the closed borders, it gave us a lot of food for thought and when we get to Abuja, we will fine-tune our policies and strategies to keep our borders safe,” he said.
Adeniyi said the seizures cut across the entire South-West as far as Ado Ekiti. According to him, the efforts put in place in the past two weeks were working.
- “Smuggling is bad for our economy and the future generations of Nigeria. Customs can work successfully to contain this menace. We have sought partnership with the communities, and they gave very strong assurance that they will cooperate with us.”
- “I was at Shaki yesterday and they were very generous by telling us that they will support us and provide land for us to put up our facilities for anti-smuggling.
- “And it has been the same everywhere that we have been in the last two weeks.”
- “We are going to be working very close with them and take a notch further by taking out social responsibility plans and see what we can do to improve their lot in these border communities,” he said.