“So far, over 5,000 vehicles have been handed over with duty of over N1 billion”.
Cooperation with neighbouring countries has fetched the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, revenues in excess of N1 billion from the collection of duties on over 5,000 vehicles imported into the country in 2013, the Comptroller-General, Dikko Abdullahi, said on Tuesday.
The Comptroller, who is also the immediate past Vice Chairman for West and Central African Region of World Customs Organisations, WCO, said the arrangement also helped to save resources often deployed to pursue smugglers.
“WCO encourages the establishment of regional cooperation on transit and security matters. It also helps to secure the cooperation of our neighbours in handing over transit vehicles to NCS. So far, over 5,000 vehicles have been handed over with duty of over N1 billion,” he said.
Mr. Abdullahi said Nigeria’s activities at WCO led to the signing of cooperation agreement by the NCS with Customs administrations in the USA, Argentina, South Africa, UAE and Turkey between 2011 and 2014.
The United States and India, he said, supported Nigeria in capacity building on border patrol operations and valuation matters in the last four years, an arrangement that exposed the NCS to global best practices in Customs administration through its active participation in the WCO’s activities.
He said the NCS was bringing the experience acquired through its participation in WCO activities to bear on the management of Customs in Nigeria.
With about 23 participating members in West and Central Africa, since his assumption of office as the vice chairman for the region in 2010, the Comptroller-General said the WCO was growing towards its ultimate goal.
He stated that the meeting of Directors-General of the five customs administrations of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria in March had started yielding results in the area of border security.
Mr. Abdullahi, who reviewed the achievements of WCO under his tenure, said he was able to assist many countries in the region in the area of trans-border security, promotion of regional trade and capacity building for Customs administration.
He said the joint border patrol by the region’s Customs administrations would soon commence.
Nigeria, whose Customs Command and Staff College designated by WCO as its regional training centre for member countries’, he said, benefited from the organisation’s activities.