WCO collaborates with Nigeria Customs Service on the implementation of Post-Clearance Audit and Authorized Economic Operator programmes to enhance Trade Facilitation

13 February 2024

The World Customs Organization (WCO) delivered a mission to the benefit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to enhance Post-Clearance Audit (PCA). The WCO PCA Diagnostic mission took place from 29 January to 2 February 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria. The mission took place under the multi-year partnership NCS has with the WCO’s Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme, as financially supported by the United Kingdom’s His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), and with the participation of experts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG).

In the opening ceremony, the NCS Comptroller-General, Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, welcomed the participants and highlighted his Administration’s commitment to inclusive growth and trade facilitation. He shared insights into the NCS's recent trade facilitation efforts, focusing on robust risk management strategies and the development of PCA functions, especially in conjunction with the NCS’s ambitions to launch an Authorized Economic Operator Programme in the near future. Emphasizing the importance of trade facilitation measures, he expressed their role in fostering economic development opportunities, job creation, and poverty alleviation. Moreover, the Comptroller-General outlined the importance of trade facilitation, particularly in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) and Nigeria's strategic position in the global trade framework. He extended his gratitude to the WCO and commended the dedication, expertise and collaborative efforts with the IMF and World Bank experts.

During the mission and with the guidance of WCO experts from the South African Revenue Service and the Kenya Revenue Authority, the NCS PCA Working Group conducted an extended analysis and assessment of NCS’ ongoing efforts on PCA function development. The mission included field visits to the Operational Cargo and Passenger Clearance Customs offices at the Abuja International Airport and the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) Center, as well as several meetings with operational NCS units and departments.

Collaborative efforts of over 40 participants from NCS’s senior management and subject matter experts resulted in the development of a draft NCS Action Plan for PCA enhancement, which is in alignment with the WCO PCA Implementation Guidelines and encompasses five key building blocks: Risk Management, Legal Framework, Operational Procedures, Liaison with Stakeholders, and Human Resource Management. Mr. Alfa Ibrahim, NCS Assistant Comptroller-General, and Ms. Caroline Niagwan, NCS Assistant Comptroller-General, welcomed the outcomes and ensured commitment to the follow-up and implementation of the Action Plan.

The outcomes of the mission directly feed into the back-to-back WCO AEO diagnostic mission, taking place from 05-09 February, also under the Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme and with the participation of the WBG.

The WCO is looking forward to continuing its strategic multi-year partnership with NCS under the framework of the WCO Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme and appreciates the collaborative efforts, support and participation of the IMF and WBG experts in this WCO-led tripartite engagement.

For more information on the WCO Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme, please see here or contact capacity.building@wcoomd.org.