Customs, IMF collaborate on implementation of AfCFTA
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), have commenced arrangements to review the status of operations concerning the implementation of rules of origin under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Speaking during the meeting held in Customs headquarters Abuja, Janos Nagy, External Expert IMF, stressed the need to strategise on issues militating against the implementation of AfCFTA, and the roles of Customs Administrations in the implementation of the preferential trade agreement.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, represented by the Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in charge of the Tariff and Trade Department, Hamza Gummi, said that the implementation of this type of policies is of great importance to the service.
Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in charge of the Strategic Research and Policy Department, Adewale Adeniyi, urged delegates to prioritise the mission for the greater good of the country.
“I do hope that the technical working committee would come up with solutions on bottlenecks relating to rules of origin. We also hope to receive a train the trainers for some of our selected officers who will impact on others in due course,” he said.
The visit, which is expected to last between 15th to 26th May 2023 will accommodate a workshop that will address the aspects of trade policies, the role of Customs Administrations, and training on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and free trade agreements amongst many others.
Meanwhile, Customs organisations in Africa have been urged to make concerted effort to enhance its process of collecting data and analytic process.
Stakeholders made this call at the World Customs Organisation Regional Training Centre for West and Central African Region three-day regional workshop on Data Collection and Analytics for its members in Nigeria.
The participants were; Burkina Faso, Tchad, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Cote D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Gabon, Gambia, Mali, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Republic of Benin, Republic of Guinea, Equatorial Guinea and Togo.
Declaring the workshop opened, Vice Chair WCO West and Central African Region, who doubles as the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, said that the Nigeria Customs Service has made tremendous achievements in the area of accessing and collecting data from trade, which if utilised properly, will enable the service to meet its target.
“There is a demand for the evolution of Customs’ roles to meet challenges such as globalisation of business and trade, international terrorism and organised crimes amongst others. Operationally, we can access and collect large amounts of data from trade, which if effectively utilised, will give us an opportunity to meet our modern expectations of achieving proper data analytics, that will help Customs’ administration in terms of evidence-based decision making,” he said.
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