Nigeria Customs Service to pilot SAFE AEO programme

29 五月 2018

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), in collaboration with the WCO, hosted a SAFE AEO sensitization Workshop from 23 to 25 May 2018. The Workshop was held at the Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada - Abuja, the WCO Regional Training Centre (RTC) for the Western and Central Africa (WCA) region. The first one and a half days were open to all the relevant stakeholders, while the rest of the Workshop was intended for Customs delegates only. The event was funded by the Korea Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF).

In his opening remarks, Mr. Chidi Augustine, Deputy Comptroller General of NCS, encouraged all stakeholders to actively participate in the discussions, in order to ensure they have a full understanding of the requirements and benefits of the AEO Programme to be implemented by NCS.  The AEO programme is expected to assist Customs to not only secure and facilitate trade, but to also provide the compliant private sector entities with benefits, including simplified Customs formalities, that would ultimately lead to reduced costs of trading.

While there are 77 functioning AEO programmes to-date, the WCA has three other programmes under development. The sensitization workshop brought together the different private sector entities and a number of government agencies together with NCS to discuss the benefits of AEO and the challenges of implementing the programme in Nigeria.  During the Workshop, the participants expressed their support and interest in the programme, while indicating the need to get other relevant government agencies to buy-in into the programme, to ensure the full benefits.

Following the Workshop, the WCO team met with the NCS personnel, and it was agreed that an AEO pilot should commence before the end of 2018. In view of the envisaged pilot, an implementation plan was developed.

In his closing remarks, Mr. David Chikan, Assistant Comptroller General of NCS, congratulated all attendees on their contribution and invited the stakeholders to continue engaging with Customs for the benefit of the programme. While applauding their commitment, especially in developing the implementation plan, he encouraged the NCS officials to continuously work on fulfilling the goal of a full fledge AEO programme in the near future.