By LOD Onyeji
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) have announced their collaborative efforts to improve trade facilitation and streamline customs procedures. This strategic partnership aims to enhance the efficiency of customs operations and promote seamless trade processes.
During a recent visit to the Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters in Abuja, representatives from JICA and WCO highlighted the importance of their joint initiative. Yutaro Oda, one of the key speakers at the meeting, emphasized the significance of One-Stop Border Posts in boosting revenue generation, facilitating trade, and promoting the movement of goods and services across Africa.
Tomomi Tokuori, an expert in Trade Facilitation, expressed concerns regarding security challenges, particularly at fragile borders. The discussion touched upon the need to address these challenges to ensure the smooth flow of trade and secure borders.
In an interactive session, Hamza Gummi, the Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in charge of the Tariff and Trade Department, represented the Comptroller General of Customs and stressed the importance of enhancing national security. Recognizing the vital role customs plays in safeguarding the nation, Gummi highlighted the need for continuous improvement in security measures.
Adewale Adeniyi, the Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in charge of the Strategic Research and Policy Department, acknowledged the positive impact of capacity-building programs provided by donor organizations to customs officers. He emphasized how these programs have contributed to the performance of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
“The Nigeria Customs Service believes that this collaboration will yield fruitful results and contribute to the overall development and improvement of Nigeria as a whole,” remarked Adeniyi.
Through this partnership, JICA and WCO aim to promote efficient customs practices, enhance security measures, and facilitate trade in Nigeria and across the African continent. With a focus on capacity building and strategic cooperation, they envision a future where customs processes are streamlined, border security is strengthened, and economic growth is fostered.ii