Customs to sensitise importers, manufacturers, Customs Agents, Journalists on NC Act 2023

Customs to sensitise importers, manufacturers, Customs Agents, Journalists on NC Act 2023

The Acting Comptroller General of Customs Adewale Adeniyi, at a 2-Day Sensitisation Retreat has disclosed that stakeholders in Customs and Excise related businesses will be sensitised on the pros and cons of the newly revised Nigeria Customs 2023 Act.

CGC Adeniyi in his opening speech at the retreat held at Wells Carlton Hotel & Apartments, Abuja, said the Sensitisation became necessary in view of the outdated nature of CEMA which has generated unnecessary bottlenecks and faceoffs between the personnel of Nigeria Customs and varied stakeholders especially those with criminally-minded individuals.

He said the sensitisation of other stakeholders, among which are importers, manufacturers, Customs Agents, Journalists, will be the next agenda having asensitised the leadership of the Service.

“As a responsible institution”, the CGC continued, “we are not unmindful of the fact that the members of the public are not yet familiar with the provisions of this Act. Most importantly, the new procedure, processes and the very stiff punitive provisions in the law. We are equally appreciative of the urgent need to sensitize the public on the provisions of this law to prevent the excuse of ignorance of the law, which is not a defence. The Service will continue to sensitize and educate the public on the provisions of the law and Customs procedure and processes.

Rt Hon ‘Leke Abejide with Nigeria Customs Management Team

“It is against this background, that we believe our charity should begin at home by first sensitizing the Management members. After this phase, other phases of sensitization that will cover all categories of sections of the Service and Public have been designed and shall be meticulously executed. We will bring into the sensitization fold stakeholders like importers, manufacturers, Customs Agents, Journalist among others.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I need to reiterate that this workshop is just an introduction to the new law. The appreciation and understanding of the law shall be due to the constant study, usage and application. In other words, this workshop cannot completely enlighten and educate the participants on the legal jurisprudence of the provisions of the Act. To this end, I urge you to pay attention and share your thoughts on issues arising from the Act during this exercise. Interestingly, the facilitators are legal officers from the Legal Department of the Service which is a boost to the programme”.

OPENING REMARKS BY Ag COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF CUSTOMS BA ADENIYI MFR, dsm, fnipr, psc (+) AT THE SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON THE NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE ACT (NCSA) 2023 HELD BETWEEN 10TH – 11TH JULY, 2023, AT WELLS CARLTON HOTEL & APARTMENTS, ABUJA.

Protocol

1. It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to this very important workshop on the Sensitization on the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023 for the members of the Management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

2. Laws are the tools and Legal instruments through which government and its agencies derive the powers and authority to carry out their mandate. As a result, the laws must be consistent, clear and adequate to realize its objectives and the mandate of the government and its agencies, otherwise, there would be a lot of constraints in its application and enforcement which may require the amendment or total repeal of the law.

3. The Nigeria Customs Service is one of the very important agencies of the Federal Government saddled with the enormous responsibility of administering, managing and enforcing the provision of the defunct Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN 2004 (CEMA). This CEMA was enacted 63 years ago and had remained in operation since then without any significant amendment notwithstanding the expansion in government, growth in population and over dynamic progress and challenges in the economy. Consequent upon this, several attempts were made in the past to cause amendments or the repeal of CEMA to no avail.

4. The efforts were necessary because the provisions of CEMA had become obsolete and could no longer adequately meet the contemporary fiscal policies of the Government and the mandate of the Service. This situation undoubtedly propelled the National Assembly through a private member Bill to initiate the repeal and enactment of a new Nigeria Customs Service Bill which was passed by the Parliament and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. At this juncture I must not fail to recognize the Sterling contribution of some distinguished personalities involved in midwifing this new Customs Act. Prominent among the is the former President for giving his assent, the current President for keeping faith with the implementation of key provisions. I also want to thank profoundly members of the 9th National Assembly for the expeditious consideration and passage of the bill. The ministries of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, and the Attorney General of the Federation, for the key role they played in the process. Finally, I also want to thank key stakeholders who played prominent role to get us to where we are today, notable among them is my predecessor Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali CFR.

5. It is my belief that the new law has addressed some of the defeats in the CEMA and introduced innovative solutions in the implementation of the Act.

6. Under this new Legal regime, the Service has been statutorily empowered to:

a) Administer and enforce the provisions of the Act;

b) Collect and account for revenue from Customs and Excise among others;

c) Promote trade facilitation;

d) Prevent smuggling activities and carryout border enforcement;

e) Do such other things as are necessary for or incidental to the performance of the function and duties of the Service under the Act;

These are a few highlights of the new Act. I believe that in the course of this retreat more features and provisions of the Act will be presented and discussed.

7. As a responsible institution, we are not unmindful of the fact that the members of the public are not yet familiar with the provisions of this Act. Most importantly, the new procedure, processes and the very stiff punitive provisions in the law. We are equally appreciative of the urgent need to sensitize the public on the provisions of this law to prevent the excuse of ignorance of the law, which is not a defence. The Service will continue to sensitize and educate the public on the provisions of the law and Customs procedure and processes.

8. It is against this background, that we believe our charity should begin at home by first sensitizing the Management members. After this phase, other phases of sensitization that will cover all categories of sections of the Service and Public have been designed and shall be meticulously executed. We will bring into the sensitization fold stakeholders like importers, manufacturers, Customs Agents, Journalist among others.

9. Ladies and Gentlemen, I need to reiterate that this workshop is just an introduction to the new law. The appreciation and understanding of the law shall be due to the constant study, usage and application. In other words, this workshop cannot completely enlighten and educate the participants on the legal jurisprudence of the provisions of the Act. To this end, I urge you to pay attention and share your thoughts on issues arising from the Act during this exercise. Interestingly, the facilitators are legal officers from the Legal Department of the Service which is a boost to the programme.

10. On this note, I wish to thank and welcome you all to the workshop.

Thank you and God Bless.