Sequel to the ratification of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement by member nations, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that it has found it pertinent to inform the public about steps which must be taken to enable it’s smooth and full implementation.
The Service in statement by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joseph Attah, noted that instead of proceeding in a chaotic manner, the Nigeria Customs Service as policy implementor understood the importance of spelling out the roles and responsibilities of all parties in the agreement and the conditions attendant on its implementation.
While re-confirming the willingness and readiness of the Service to play its role as trade facilitators in this regard, Attah reminded the public that the functions of the NCS were highly automated and primarily systems driven hence the need to methodically harvest and integrate all data associated with AfCFTA into its system for easy deployment, access and use by the trading public.
He added that the NCS awaits the National Action Committee (NAC) on the list of duties and charges waived for liberalized goods under AfCTA, the list of the 90% liberalized National Trade Offers, the list of 70% Non-liberalized exclusive goods at the regional level, the list of 3% Non-Liberalized sensitive goods, as well as the appointment of a competent Authority responsible for issuing and authenticating certificates of origin and registering enterprises and products within the region.
The Customs spokesman hinted that the Service acknowledged the transformational impact the agreement portends for businesses within the continent in general and Nigeria in particular and were fully committed to its success.
According to him, “Further, the Service recommends that each member country should have a representative in the continental Chamber of Commerce to ensure transparency within the body thereby generating confidence in the system. This in our view should be complementary to the activities of the various Chambers of Commerce of each country in the region.
“While awaiting clear directives concerning tariffs for all goods covered by this agreement, we want to assure the public of our preparedness to fully deploy our services at the shortest notice. Our desire is to imbue trust in the system while guaranteeing the economic safety and wellbeing of businesses within the country.
“We look with optimism to an era of complete economic integration which will lead to growth and prosperity for businesses within the region.”
Photo: The Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), DC Joseph Attah.
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