The Nigeria Customs Service must benefit from the opportunities of new technologies in securing the Nigerian borders and ports, its Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has said.
Ali stated this on Tuesday at a national conference on Fast-Tracking Port Reforms, organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, in collaboration with The Nation Newspapers and Epsilon Limited in Abuja.
Explaining that Nigerian ports have been ranked poor by major agencies, the Customs boss stated that it’s important for the Customs to strengthen its security at ports and borders.
”Over the years, our port system has been adjured poor performance by major right agencies in terms of its competence, in terms of its strategic importance to the realization of the economic growth and recovery plan.”
He held that there is need for agencies to work together to present a united front against bad characters on the rules to compromise our system. He added that the agency must expound on the opportunities presented by the new technologies to fast track compliant traders and punish the offenders.
According to him, the means of improving security at Nigeria Customs is to carry out assessment and impose heavy sanctions on offenders.
”We have been strengthening our capacity to investigate offences against our laws and impose heavy sanctions that has deterrent factors.
”One way to improve our performance is actually to carry out an assessment of our operations, identify areas where we have made progress and those where we still have lapses,” he said.
Ali recalled that last year, the federal government issued the Ease of Doing Business executive order, in Nigeria, adding that the order has helped bring efficiency to the ports.
”The Federal Government of Nigeria last year issued ease of doing business executive order E01, to improve business environment for port officials.