The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is set to partner Uganda Customs on the implementation of electronic cargo tracking system in the monitoring and management of goods in transit within and outside the borders of the country.
The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), retired Col. Hameed Ali, revealed this in his interaction with newsmen at a lecture organised by the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, “The Nigeria Customs have reached some understanding in the area of electronic cargo tracking which is a flagship project of the Uganda Customs Organization, which is effective in monitoring goods in transit and in the transfer of containers from one port to the other without the fear of illegal diversion.
“Our research and development department have been charged to look at all proposals and to figure out what we really need to get electronic cargo tracking in place. We hope to reach all stakeholders to get their buy-in.
“It is our hope that if all things work out fine, by next year, if the finances are given and we reach an agreement with our technologists and service providers, we should be able to start something even if it is in a small scale and expand as we go on.
“The Electronic tracking system is not only a matter of the technology but we also must put in place the enforcement for it to be effective.”
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Ali also added that: “We also have frank discussions on anti-corruption strategies based on zero tolerance; we are ready to deploy appropriate strategies which focus on addressing the basic human needs of officers and fight and bring to the barest minimum systemic corruption.”
He therefore urged officers of the NCS to work for the interest of the Customs and extricate every form of illegal acquisition of riches and stand for what is right even if it is not a popular decision.
According to him, “Monetary inducement is not motivation. No amount of money is ever enough. Inner motivation (pride) is what gets you doing your job not the external motivation (money) you receive.”
The NSC boss urged officers to be leaders who are firm in their decision and not seek to be nice and people pleasers.
The Commissioner of Customs, Uganda Revenue Authority, Mr Kateshumbwa Dicksons, in his address said: “I am here because of the close collaboration between the Uganda Customs and the NCS. Both countries as members of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the African Union (AU) play significant roles in the affairs of Customs at the local and international level.
“Our political leaders have given us direction towards implementing the Africa Continental Free Trade agreement which is now the latest flagship initiative across our continent. For us to be able to implement that, it demands a lot of harmonization across administrations and Customs.
“This is an opportunity to strengthen our administrations by working together. We are collaborating in terms of sharing experiences and capacity building.
“All countries across the world are competing for investment. If you have a country with a lot of red tape procedures, difficult environment and high cost of living, investors will move to countries that have good investment climate. So, we have to put in place the right procedures and the right people to implement those procedures.”