Nigeria is set to play host to First Extra Ordinary Meeting of African Union Sub Committee of Directors General of Customs from 23rd to 25th of May 2017 in Abuja.
The meeting, which will be attended by fifty African countries with their heads of customs administrations in attendance, will address issues concerning trans border trade, movements of goods and trade facilitation without compromising security.
In a press statement, Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah , said Nigeria’s Comptroller General of Customs , Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Rtd. will host other customs chiefs on the continent to brainstorm on harnessing collective customs potentials for the continent’s economic advancement.
The theme of the meeting according to Attah is ”Entering into force of the World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement: Implication for African Customs Administrations”
Attah, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs said ” Our Comptroller General and other visiting Directors General will deliberate on the theme of the meeting and seek ways of contributing to the growth of African economy through modernised, effective and development driven customs administrations.
” This Nigerian meeting hopes to evolve a common front and a cohesive continental work plan aimed at having a uniform agenda with agreed voting pattern as being done by customs administrations from other continental blocs. A common position in the governance of the World Customs Organisation(WCO) Summit”
”The meeting will also seek to collapse bureaucratic bottlenecks affecting moving of goods
across borders for traders. Simplification,
modernization and harmonization of export and import processes shall be critically viewed as these has emerged as important issues for the world trading system which Africa cannot be left out”
On the choice of Nigeria for the meeting, Attah said the country is viewed as a leading player in Customs matters on the continent with the Regional Training Centre for West and Central Africa sited in Abuja.
It will be recalled that Nigeria’s influence in international economic matters in Africa had existed many years back before leaders in West African region formed the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975.
The choice of Nigeria for the maiden edition of the meeting, Attah said, is a further demonstration of confidence on Nigeria as a safer destination for international engagements. This will positively impact on tourism and businesses.
The continental approach to a unified customs agenda is widely viewed as being in sync with Nigerian government Ease of Doing Business agenda which seeks to remove all trade barriers and promote seamless logistics in the export, import and manufacturing sectors.