Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has disclosed that with the support of the Minster of Finance, it is working in close collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to achieve a stable rate for import of goods to enable businesses plan their activities.

It also stated that all hands are on deck to check the rising food inflation in the country as the Service will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that business of food hoarders is unprofitable.

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi stated this on Wednesday in Abuja at a press conference on the performance of the Service in the past one year, following his appointment.

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This means that the Federal Government may be considering seriously the proposal by the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms headed by Mr. Taiwo Oyedele that has recommended a fixed exchange rate of N800 to the dollar for all imports to check the volatility in the system.

“On exchange rate. With the support of the Honourable Minister of Finance, NCS is working in close collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria to achieve a stable rate for import of goods to enable business plan activities.

“On food inflation. The Service will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that business of food hoarders is unprofitable”, the Comptroller-General (CGC) of Nigeria Customs Service said.

The CGC reassured Nigerians that the measures implemented, and the results so far, are well-intended and designed to yield positive benefits for the overall well-being of the nation.

According to him, when the NCS facilitates trade and reduces the costs and encumbrances importers face, it translates to lower costs for importers, which should eventually reflect in price reductions for consumers.

“While these gains may experience some lag due to factors beyond our control, such as transportation, infrastructure, and information asymmetry, we remain committed to our role.

“This is why the NCS is also focused on plugging leakages and improving revenue collection to support the funding of the government’s objectives and initiatives to build and upgrade infrastructure and invest in other essential schemes, including social welfare,” Mr Adeniyi further stated.

He said the Customs’ mandate to protect society should be seen in the context of mitigating the damaging effects of illicit substances like codeine and cannabis indica on the productive youth of Nigeria.

“Similarly, intercepting the entry of arms and ammunition is crucial in preventing the worsening of our national security situation. Unchecked smuggling of prohibited items not only fuels illegal activities but also strengthens unscrupulous individuals who seek to destabilize the peace, security, and prosperity of our country,” he said.

The CGC noted that more recently, premium motor spirit (PMS) smuggling has emerged as a potential national security threat, and beyond the funding it provides for smugglers, the deprivation of Nigerians’ access to PMS can cause significant disruptions and exacerbate the hardships faced by many.

He highlighted that the NCS is making concerted efforts to engage stakeholders and communicate effectively with the citizens of Nigeria, and reassured everyone that all measures are in place to improve their well-being and alleviate any hardships they may be facing.

On Compliance with Customs Laws, he pointed out that the Service constantly reviewing its processes in line with the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2024 to ensure that leakages are blocked and offenders of Customs laws are made to face the full penalty and the wrath of the law.

“On Customs Modernisation. NCS is engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure that the deliverable of the customs modernisations are met as the Service continues to phase out manual processes with automation.

“On Trade Agreements, NCS is working closely with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the implementation of trade agreements like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) yields the desired benefits to Nigerians. Moreover, the Service has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with strategic trade partners like China Customs and has recently been working with tension Customs to facilitate the creation of a new joint border post along the Segbana-Tsamia border with the Republic of Benin at Kebbi

“On National Security. NCS will continue to work with relevant national and international agencies to share intelligence and develop structured frameworks to ensure that those seeking to disrupt the peace and stability of the nation do not go unpunished,” the Comptroller-General of Customs pointed out.

Explaining its activities on Open governance, the CGC said the NCS remains committed to ensuring transparency in its operations and sharing relevant and credible information.

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