Abuja, Aug. 23, 2023: Nigeria Customs Service(NIS) says it will collaborate with Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA) to speed up Nigeria’s economic growth.
The Acting Controller General of NIS, Mr Bashiru Adeniyi made the pledge when NEPZA’s Managing Director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba and his counterpart from OGFZA, Senator Tijani Kaura visited him on Friday.
Adeniyi, while commending efforts of the duo, promised the Service readiness to partner the two Agencies for the good of the country.
According to him, Nigeria Customs Service is ever committed to collaborate with necessary Government’s Agencies in the task of ensuring national economic development.
“That is in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu led administration.
“ So I will like to express my commitment that we will forge this collaboration, we will work closer and we will get collaborations towards productive results for our economy,” he said.
Earlier, the Managing Director of NEPZA, highlighted the roles of Free Trade Zones in job creation, poverty reduction and national economic development.
Adesugba said for NEPZA and OGFZA to achieve their mandates as agencies saddled with the responsibility of developing the sector, there was the need for effective collaboration with the NIS.
He recalled the meeting of stakeholders in the sector in Abuja where they brainstormed on how to reposition the sector for optimal performance.
He said it was resolved that they meet with the Nigeria Customs Service on the meeting’s outcome to further seek the way forward in the industry.
“We are very happy that we are going back to our various authorities and we are taking with us the fact that we will be working together.
“It is not going to be business as usual, we are going to be working with very vibrant team of Customs officers.
“And they are going to develop the capacity of all the officers and some of the stakeholders in the processes of the free trade zone to ensure investors are attracted to the freezones in Nigeria rather than go elsewhere
“We want to work with Nigeria Customs and all other stakeholders that have anything to do with the free zone scheme to ensure that investors have sucuur in Nigeria.
“ And to ensure we are competitive, limit bureaucracy and the one stop shop part of the scheme actually works and we can’t do these without the Nigeria Customs, so that is why we are here,” he said.
Adesugba used the opportunity to congratulate Adeniyi on his appointment as the Acting Comptroller General of NIS while commended President Tinubu for making the right choice in the appointment.
He described the NIS boss as a well trained and experienced Custom officer who rose from the ranks to become the Acting Comptroller General.
On his part, the Managing Director of OGFZA,
who also congratulated the NIS boss, stressed the need for effective public private sector collaboration towards developing the nation’s Free Trade Zones.
Kaura said he was impressed by the outcome of the meeting as it showed clear willingness by the Customs to support the free zone.
He expressed optimism that the collaboration would be on the interest of the nation, lead to rapid economic growth and progress for the country.
The five man Committee was set up at the end of the event to deliberate on ways of possible partnership among the three Agencies.