By Jerry Aguigbo
The Nigeria Customs Service has claimed it is very close a full automation of import, export processes geared towards eradicating bottlenecks, reducing costs and also increase revenue.
The Deputy National Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Deputy Controller Timi Bomodi while addressing stakeholders recently in Lagos, informed that the Service is aiming at full automation of import and export processes which has expedited procedures at various CPC’s allowing Customs and Agents to save man-hours and shorten time spent on clearance of consignments.
Bomodi reiterated that “at current levels, NCS has integrated and automated over 90 percent of its activities. Members of the public continued to avail themselves of copious information on both it’s Webb based and mobile applications. The e-Customs project which is certain to take off next year will provide end to end automation aimed at eliminating physical contact and the potential for subjective judgements based on unethical considerations. Fast track and Authorised economic Operator schemes are there to enhance and facilitate the experience of traders with track records for honesty and transparency,” he said.
Also, with the introduction of the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System II (NISIS II) aimed at providing easy access to Customs information regarding trade regulations, this also allows for easy interface and enhanced user experience.
Bomodi said NCS has introduced mobile applications for verifying the authenticity of documents by enforcement officers on patrol. ” This app will eliminate delays in verifying genuine Customs documents on our highways making it difficult for forger to get away with their illegal acts, while easing the journey of law abiding citizens,” he explained.
Meanwhile, congestion looms at the major nation’s ports, with Agents frustrated and under intense pressure from their principals,( the importers) due to Server failure which has once again resurfaced at this Yuletide period.
For close to two weeks now, agents have beseiged various DTI’s with complaints of the inability to access information to facilitate the payment of duty on their various consignments.
This comes amidst the claim by the Customs on instituting a seamless operation.
The Service providers should be made to put their acts together to ensure that this perennial Server collapse becomes less frequent to help the NCS in it’s quest towards a reduction of import and export processing time.