JUST IN: Customs Drives Authorised Economic Operators Pilot Programme For Trade Efficiency

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Customs Drives Authorised Economic Operators Pilot Programme For Trade Efficiency

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has taken a proactive stance by spearheading an Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) programme aimed at enhancing the efficiency and predictability of trade facilitation efforts across the nation.
During a stakeholders’ meeting held on Tuesday in Abuja, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, emphasised the pivotal role the programme would play in fostering collaboration between the customs service, other government agencies, and experts to elevate AEO initiatives.

The CGC highlighted the imperative of collective determination to transform the prevailing narrative surrounding the ease of conducting business within and around Nigerian ports.
Observing the comprehensive scope of the AEO programme, the CGC stated, “AEO cuts across virtually every player in the sector, enabling us to address pertinent issues and compile data that are more conducive for operators.” He reiterated the organisation’s commitment to optimising trading experiences within Nigeria.

He expressed confidence in the successful implementation of the AEO pilot programme, saying “We are set to embark on the journey with you, with the pilot program slated to commence on April 15, 2024.”
The objectives of the pilot programme are twofold: to evaluate the visibility and effectiveness of AEO implementation within the Nigeria Customs Service and to gather feedback from key stakeholders.
To foster transparency, inclusivity, and collaboration, the CGC emphasised the need to align the program’s design and execution seamlessly with international standards.

Selected stakeholders, including importers, exporters, small and medium enterprises, Customs licence agents, logistics operators, and government agencies, have been carefully chosen to participate in the pilot scheme of the AEO programme in Nigeria.
Chief superintendent of Customs and project manager of the Authorised Economic Operator, Awa Nnenna emphasised the programme’s capacity to streamline Customs clearance processes while ensuring transparency and inclusivity in accordance with international standards.

Director general of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Charles Odii lauded the NCS for its proactive engagement with small-scale business owners through the AEO programme, affirming its potential to contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth.
CEO of the Nigeria Shippers Council, Pius Akutah also commended the NCS for its initiative, pledging unwavering support to ensure the success of the AEO program.

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