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Dikko, Mikuriya seek regional collaboration and synergy

CGC, Dikko Abdullahi

The Comptroller General
of Customs, Dr Dikko  Abdullahi 
 stressed the need for
stronger collaboration and synergy amongst regional organizations in the West
and Central Africa, stating that the “reality of our time” has made it

Abdullahi made the statement at the opening ceremony of the sub- regional meeting of the World
Customs Organization, even as the WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya
emphasized that until the menace disease, insurgency or terrorism was
collectively and regionally fought, no enduring victory may be guaranteed.
“When we work together , we win together. With the
dynamics of international trade and complex nature of border security, we must
see ourselves as partners with other Government agencies within and outside our

“The reality of our time imposes on us the obligation of
collaboration among all partner agencies of Government; using information
technology (IT) and various WCO tools as support”, the Comptroller General
said, pointing out that more efforts , more success would be delivered, if
stakeholders work on synergies and efficiency.

Speaking on the theme “Coordinated Border Management, an inclusive
approach to connecting stakeholders”Abdullahi said the Abuja meeting initiative
which recently saw Nigeria, Benin, Chad, Cameroon and Niger sitting and
brainstorming on a collaborative approach of combating cross-border terrorism
within the region had begun to yield positive results; in addition to assisting
in streamlining transit trade between Nigeria and the neighbouring States of
Benin and Niger.

“I equally want to recall our resolve against the dreaded
Ebola Virus, sympathising with families of affected victims, even as stressed
that “from our experience here in Nigeria, no challenge is strong enough to
withstand our resolute and collective efforts”.

He however stressed the need for capacity building, through
training and retraining of officers, as well as the continuing employment of
talented youths, noting that it is their engagement, and training that the
emergence of the desired modernized Customs Service would be realised.

“There are talents in Nigeria who believe that successful
career can only be nurtured in the private sector. We need to recruit these
talents, particularly those with IT skills and retrain them with good
remuneration, obtainable in the private sector,” stressing that each
organization must focus adequately on welfare package, as a reliable tool, for
ensuring improved productivity.

“There is no over-emphasizing the fact that improved welfare
for officers will improve productivity and efficiency. Projects like Home
Ownership Schemes, subsidized medical services for officers and families and
13th Month salary are some of the incentives we use in Nigeria”, Abdullahi said, even as he praised President Goodluck Joathan whom he
described as a great Statesman and Ambassador of Peace, for providing the
Customs Service, the impetus for its immense growth. 

Meanwhile, the WCO Secretary General, Mikuriya has praised
the leadership roles that Nigeria is playing in the sub-region, noting that
from 2011 when he first visited Abuja, till date, he had continued to marvel with
the Nigerian Spirit, their love for hard work, and their commendable leadership
qualities as demonstrated during and after the recent 2015 Elections.

He lauded the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), leadership
especially, in the pursuit and investment in IT, adding that he was glad that
the NCS was able to increase revenue profile by 20 percent, even in the first
year of getting its job back, from the Service Providers, particularly, the
Destination Inspection group.

Mikuriya also praised President Jonathan for his
statesmanship, organising a transparent and credible elections; in addition to
the enduring support he gave the NCS, and expressed a desire for similar
support by other sub regional political leaderships, for their respective
Customs Service.

He assured Nigeria of the continuing support and assistance
of the WCO, stressing that the success of the Nigeria Customs experiment may be
all that the WCO needs to convince other political leaders, on the importance
of supporting totally, their respective Customs Service.

Meanwhile, the three-day event was flagged off with a cocktail
yesterday  at the Nicon Jotel, Abuja, where the attendees , particularly,
the  WCO Vice Chairman, West and Central Africa,  and Head of Customs
, Cameroon, Libom Li Likeng Rinette specially commended the NCS and the
Nigerian people.
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