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Revolution In The Port Sector Critical For Rapid Development

By Nigeria Customs Service
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Just as the saying goes, doing good comes with a lot of implications and uneasy calm amongst people who are bent in making wealth from unsuspecting individuals or countries. Thereby promoting selfish interests and impeding the development plan of the government.

All customs organizations in developed countries as of date are responsible for the operation in clearing of their goods using advanced technology to make the process seamless, fast and very easy. The modernization drive sweeping through Africa is a step to achieving the ECOWAS Common External Tariff where trade facilitation can now be harmonized and rapid development in terms of economic growth can now have a high standard.

Before the take-over of destination inspection in December 2013 from the service providers who have hitherto provided the services to Nigeria Customs Service, the menace of corruption and slow process was so high and this made promising stakeholders and foreign investment into the country very slow.

It can be recalled also, that the highs in the destination inspection era, tried as much as possible to stop the Nigeria Customs Service from taking over giving frivolous claims that Nigeria Customs Service wasn't set for the take-over, well this protruded with lots of politics right into the ears of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

But with the trust and forecasts that were given, Nigeria Customs Service took over its functions from the destination inspection companies and till date, the country has enjoyed seamless trade relations with its counterparts and foreigners.

It is well known that delay in cargo clearance is caused by 100 percent physical examination of cargo by customs, against the global best practices of using technology to clear goods speedily and in less than four hours. As of today, the process of automating the functions of clearing goods and services is highly recognized and a global standard.

Note that automation of cargo clearance processes will help put proper logistics control in place to fast track cargo clearance.

At the news of how Nigeria Customs Service set the pace with the introduction of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report and the Nigeria Trade Hub, the Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization alongside a high diplomatic team paid a courtesy visit to Nigeria on 17 and 18 February 2014 to observe Customs transformation activities after the termination of Destination Inspection contracts on 1 December 2013.

According to the Secretary-General, the transformation seen so far, shows that Customs Organization globally will have to key into the technology advancement that is fast sweeping throughout Africa and beyond.

Various ports need paperless Customs; e-payment of Customs duty; e-container loading list; electronic risk-based inspection; connecting other government agencies under one platform and e-permit exchange among operators.

In a space of two years after the takeover, Nigerians now enjoy round the clock clearance of goods, this has made the rating of doing business in Nigeria very easy. The World at large as been called upon to take a cue from the success story, the PAAR ruling centre has young vibrant technology savvy team who ensure that the country remains a safe destination for goods coming into the country, opening an opportunity for generations unborn to be glad they chose the right step in modernizing the customs process so far.

With this in place, various countries who wish to take the right step in rapidly developing their countries should key into the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report scheme.

It is best to note that automation of this type has been brought in by West Blue Consulting and we are aiming higher, as they have shown full capacity in successfully implementing the single window program.

Nigeria Customs Service