James Emejo in Abuja
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said the effective date for the full implementation of the new Customs and Excise Management Act, 2022 (as amended) currently remained a priority that would be addressed by the service in due course.
President Muhammadu Buhari on April 27 broke a 63-year old law by assenting to the Customs and Excise Management Act amendment bill, 2022, after previously declining his assent.
The new legislation provides for the reform of the administration and management of customs and excise in the country – and seeks to among other things, position the service to be financially stable to recruit the required number of officers needed to man Nigeria’s porous border stations.
It also provides stiffer punishment for offenders to serve as deterrence for serious economic crimes of customs and excise oriented, thereby encouraging more revenue in the area of fine payment.
Although the Nigeria Customs Service Board (NCSB) had expressed pleasure over the enactment of the new customs Act into law, Customs Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, in a statement issued over the weekend, however, disclosed that the effective date for the full implementation of the legislation would be decided as a matter of priority in due course.
Nonetheless, NCSB, chaired by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has confirmed the appointment of five Deputy Comptroller-Generals (DCGs) and 15 Assistant Comptroller-Generals (ACGs) of customs during its recent 57th regular meeting.
According to Maiwada, the DCGs include M Abba-Kura, DCG Enforcement Inspection and Investigation; AG Saidu, DCG Human Resource Development; JP Ajoku, DCG Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives; BA Adeniyi, DCG Strategic Research and Policy, and GA Itotoh, DCG/Commander Training and Doctrine Command.
The ACGs include O. Peters, ACG/Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘C’; AI Alfa, ACG Strategic Research and Policy; HJ Swomen, ACG Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives; KC Egwuh, ACG Doctrine Development and Administration Command; MBA Musa, ACG Tariff and Trade as well as A Dappa-Williams, ACG Enforcement Inspection and Investigation.
Others are BM Jibo, ACG Headquarters; A Hamisu, ACG/Commandant Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College; Y Salihu, ACG Finance and Admin; MI Yusuf, ACG Training and Coordination; SA Bomai, ACG Board; CK Niagwan, ACG Technical Services; KI Adeola, ACG ICT/Modernisation; IO Babalola, ACG/Zonal Coordinator Zone ‘D’ and BU Nwafor, ACG Human Resource Development.
Speaking at the meeting, Ahmed expressed delight at the outcome of her stewardship of the NCS.
She said, “It has been a very interesting and educative experience for me as the Chairperson of the Nigeria Customs Service Board. We have seen during this process significant improvement in terms of the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service.”
The minister pointed out that under her leadership, the board was able to secure several approvals for the Service including enhancement of the remuneration of the staff, and improvement in terms of cost of collections.