Mission in support of the development of an IT strategy for Niger Customs

28 July 2011

Mission in support of the development of an IT strategy for Niger Customs

Niamey, 13 – 17 June and 11 – 15 July 2011 

Through its 2010 - 2012 Strategic Plan, the Niger Customs Administration has expressed a strong desire to modernize. It specifically wishes to overhaul its information systems and develop new automated applications to offer its internal and external customers a better service. To that end, the Directorate General has requested the WCO’s support to develop a multi-year information technology (IT) strategy. It was against this background that an expert from the WCO Secretariat and an expert from Cameroon Customs carried out two joint missions in Niamey, the capital of Niger.

The first mission provided an opportunity for representatives from the IT Service, the Reform Steering Committee and the Directors of Niger’s Central Customs Services to analyse the Administration’s Strategic Plan together, to highlight any aspects that might potentially affect IT and to identify the accountable structure. To optimize understanding and co-operation between computer experts and Customs officers, the experts placed particular emphasis on clearly distinguishing between the responsibilities of the IT Service (service provider) and other Customs structures (clients).

The second mission built on the information provided by the accountable structures and resulted in an initial draft of an IT strategy which also pinpointed the Administration’s priorities. The broad outlines of the IT strategy are: establishing a specific IT Directorate; recruiting new computer specialists; improving the computer specialists’ training, motivation and equipment; creating a centralized, stable, reliable and secure IT infrastructure, networking Customs services; introducing a standard process for developing IT applications based on clients’ specifications; developing IT applications in accordance with the Administration’s priorities and in line with the available resources.

The WCO welcomes the fact that Niger Customs has taken ownership of the IT strategy and reiterates its readiness to lend further support to the Administration in this respect.