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Ali, Customs boss

Customs makes N2.5tn in 2 years, seeks shift to non-oil export for growth

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The Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has called the government and private sector to do everything within reach to quickly move the economic base of the nation from oil to manufacturing. The move, according to him, will not only create more jobs, but builds a sustainable economic structure that will ease recession and push the economy into stability.

Speaking in Lagos at the median ‘All Maritime Journalists Seminar’ Thursday, he said “Nigeria must shift emphasis away from oil to non-oil sector to tap from the huge natural resources and get our teaming unemployed youths engaged”.

The seminar was organized by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigerian (AMJON) at the conference hall of the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), Topo, Badagry.

Ali, represented by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Service, Deputy Comptroller, Wale Adeniyi disclosed that “In generating revenue for the economy, Customs injected about N2.5tn to the government coffers between 2014 and 2016 Q3”.

“Within the period, the agency also made a total of 17,773 seizures worth about N22bn and also facilitated trade, vides PAR, CET and used other protectionists’ instruments of the law for the interest of local manufacturing”.

On the recent move by the Nigerian Army to start production of booths locally, Ali welcomed the development and called on other paramilitary agencies to cue in, revealing that already, the uniforms of the Nigerian Customs are made in Nigeria before now.

Answering questions on why Customs road block has become uncountable along the Seme Border-Badagry Expressway, Ali said “because there are uncountable entry channels by sea into Nigeria, it will be naïve for officers to only remain at the border post waiting for smugglers who are traversing into the country from numerous waterfronts”.

In another paper presented by, Mr. Adamu Mamman Kontagora, Head, trade and Investment at the Oil & Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), he called for special assistance from the apex government to help the agency speed up planned diversification of the sector.

He said the assistance has become very important so as to encourage skill and transfer of technology, grow local content participation, enhance foreign exchange earnings and backward integration to the local economy.

Kontagora called for the restructuring of the agency to Oil & Gas Free Zones development Agency, saying the move will position it to do more in the promotion of industrial hubs, zones and cities across the country.

Earlier in his address of welcome, the President of AMJON, Mr. Ismail Aniemu said time has come for the real diversification of the economy beginning with the maritime sector. He said the importance attached to this need facilitated AMJON to craft out the seminar so that stakeholders can tinker fresh ideas capable of helping Nigeria exit recession before long.

The Seminar end today, Friday.


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