By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Acting Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service ( NCS), Bashir Adeniyi alongside his Management Team, met on Friday, 28 July 2023, with the Directors of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA) to discuss the state of trade in Nigeria and join forces to take significant steps to improve Nigeria’s Free Trade Zones Operations.
The Acting CG, while responding to the submissions of the two Organizations, appreciated them for visiting the Headquarters of the Service to congratulate him on his appointment and sought to review their mutual concerns about the future of trade in the Country.
He further assured that the Nigeria Customs Service, as one of the spines of the Free Zone Scheme, will continue to work in line with the standard trade facilitation policies to attract a seamless opportunity for business people to invest in the free Zones scheme in Nigeria.
The NCS boss however, assured the two organisations of Customs commitment to work together with them, adding, “We need to constitute a joint committee between us and some relevant stakeholders to address our common concerns.”
Speaking journalist after the meeting, the Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Prof. Adesoji Adesoba, said that he was personally elated with the way the CGC addressed them and expressed readiness to work assiduously towards achieving their target of improving Free Trade Zones.
However, in a separate interview, the Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), Senator Tijjani Yahya Kaura, described the collaboration between the Free Trade Zones and Nigeria Customs as necessary, adding that “our meeting with the CG is fruitful, as it revolves around proffering solutions to our common issues, and I am happy that the Acting CGC is committed to addressing them.”
The organisations believed their coming together could be a ‘win-win’ situation that would change the narrative of Free Trade Zones in Nigeria and attract investors to Nigerian shores.