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WCO enhances ties with West and Central Africa

21 febrero 2011

WCO enhances ties with West and Central Africa

Abuja, 16-17 February 2011


At the invitation of Comptroller General Abdullahi Dikko of Nigeria Customs Service, Secretary General Mikuriya visited Abuja, Nigeria on 16 and 17 February 2011 to discuss regional cooperation and capacity building.

Nigeria is currently Vice Chair of the WCO West and Central Africa region.Nigeria’s Ambassador to the European Union, Ambassador Usman Baraya, and the Director General of Niger Customs, Hajiya Zeinab Idrissa, joined the mission.

At Customs Headquarters the Secretary General met the senior management to review reform efforts and to discuss the way forward.During the meeting with Minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, he stressed the importance of customs-driven reform supported by best practice enshrined in the Revised Kyoto Convention and other WCO standards to the Minister's request to improve the trade and investment environment through Customs reform.

With regards to human resource management, Nigeria Customs Service showed briefed the Secretary General on its welfare system which includes decent accommodation. They also showed him their staff commander college which was under construction that would be used to train mid-career officers.

As a practical application of the partnership approach, in addition to a dialogue session with business and the signing of a MoU with ECOWAS, a meeting with the National University Commission - an umbrella for all universities in Nigeria - took place to develop a knowledge network for Customs.

Secretary General Mikuriya also had a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria who pledged his support for Customs modernization. OnceaCustoms officer in his young days,President Jonathan has a profound understanding of the critical role Customs plays in economic development.

"I am impressed that Nigeria Customs Service is mobilizing the '3P' elements that the WCO Capacity Building Committee identified for capacity building, namely care for PEOPLE, enjoying the highest-level of POLITICAL SUPPORT and PARTNERSHIP," stated the Secretary General, "moreover Nigeria takes a leadership role in providing assistance to regional Members which supports regional integration driven by ECOWAS."