Customs champions Authorised Economic Operators pilot programme for ease of business

Spread the love

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has championed an Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) programme to enhance the efficiency and predictability of trade facilitation efforts in the country.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Wale Adeniyi during a stakeholders meeting in Abuja, said the programme would foster collaboration between the service, other government agencies and experts, to boost AEO programmes.

The customs boss said collaboration among relevant stakeholder was necessary in order to change the narrative about ease of doing business in and around Nigerian ports.

“AEO cuts across virtually every player in the sector, the exporter, importer, government agencies, regulatory agencies, the Customs and everybody in one way or the other.

“This allows us to address some of those issues so that when next operators talk about how much it takes them, we will see data that are a little bit more friendly,” he said.

He said the NCS in February, launched a Time Release Study (TRS) as another measure to optimise the trading experience within Nigeria.

Adeniyi assured stakeholders of the service’s commitment to running the AEO pilot programme successfully.

See also  Customs seeks NIPSS partnership towards nation building

He said, “We are taking the steps with you with the implementation of the Authorised Economic Operator programme, which hopefully will start from the 15th of April 2024.”

He further said the objectives of the pilot programme as a course were, to evaluate the visibility and effectiveness of implementing the AEO programme within the service and to solicit feedback from all major stakeholders.

According to him, the pilots will help to identify potential challenges, fine-tune necessary processes and lay the groundwork for a full-scale rollout of the AEO programme.

He expressed the servic’s committed to fostering transparency, inclusivity and collaboration.

He further expressed optimism that the programme’s designs and execution would align seamlessly with international standards.

“Why we do this is because we want to remain attuned to the unique realities of our local context.

“Seven key stakeholders that are legal entities whose operations span across the international supply chain have been carefully selected by the pilot programme.”

Adeniyi said importers, exporters, Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs), Customs licence agents had been selected to run the pilot programme.

Others according to him are, logistics operators, and government agencies.

See also  Customs approves promotion of 357 junior officers

He called on participants to be committed to ensuring the potential of the programme, adding that it would foster a culture of efficient Customs processes compliance, integrity and collaboration.

“This is a collective and transformative journey and we must come together with renewed determination.

“This is knowing that together we can shape a future that knows no boundaries and prosperity with no limits,” he said.

Awa Nnenna, Chief Superintendent of Custom and Project Manager of AEO, said the pilot phase of the programme was designed to streamline Customs clearance processes while ensuring transparency and inclusivity in line with international standards.

Awa said some of the benefits of the programme were, expedited Customs clearance procedures and establishment of mutual trust between Customs authorities and accredited operators.

“By facilitating smoother trade operations, the programme aims to stimulate economic growth.”

Mr Charles Odii, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), commended Customs for its proactive approach to engaging small-scale business owners through the programme.

He reiterated the agency’s commitment to supporting the programme, adding that the initiative would contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Foreign Exchange reserves.

See also  Customs boss urges personnel to maintain high level of professionalism

Odii reiterated the importance of creating avenues for domestic business owners, particularly SMEs, to participate and benefit from such initiatives.

“I believe that this programme will enable SMEs to enhance their investments and leverage the opportunities presented by the AEO window,”he said.

He added that the programme would not only streamline trade processes but change the narrative surrounding trade in Nigeria.

According to him, it will foster a more conducive environment for business growth and development.

“As we are launching this scheme, I am looking forward to the many more testimonials within the next six months.

“What we want to do is get all the testimonials to help ease the operations at the port and see how these will trickle down to job creation and helping to increase livelihoods of small business owners in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Pius Akutah, Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Shippers Council, commended Customs for the initiative and reiterated the council’s commitment to supporting and ensuring the success of the programme.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top