The President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, in Abuja commissioned the N19 billion new Customs headquarters building and hinted on the need to halt smuggling.
He said the advent of more sophisticated means of smuggling and the attendant security threats require a robust and agile Customs administration.
He said this explained why he signed the new Customs Act into law, adding that it would enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of customs administration.
“The recent increase in transnational crimes, smuggling, and security threats necessitates the need for a robust and agile Customs administration.
I am fully cognizant of these challenges and the urgent need to address them,” Buhari said while inaugurating the new headquarters building of the Nigerian Customs Service in Maitama, Abuja, named Customs House.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement he signed on Tuesday titled: ‘New Customs Act will enhance its efficiency and effectiveness, says President Buhari.’
The statement quoted Buhari as saying, “We are all aware of the challenges faced by our Customs service, particularly the issue of fragile borders that provide opportunities for illicit activities.
“I am pleased to highlight that in line with our commitment to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of our Customs administration, I recently signed the Customs Bill into law.
The new Act, which is a product of extensive consultations and deliberations, represents a significant step towards modernising our Customs operations, strengthening regulatory frameworks, and promoting trade facilitation.”
Buhari commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), for delivering the mandate issued to him in 2015.
“Over the years, he has earned my trust and support through his selfless service, and relentless pursuit of excellence without compromising his personal integrity,” he said.