…Deliberates on Ways to Enhance Trade At High-Level Penalist Session

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, has expressed optimism that the recently launched Pilot Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program in Nigeria is designed to contribute to the broader objectives of the WCO in promoting border security and fostering sustainable economic development globally.

CGC Adeniyi made this known on Wednesday 8 May 2024, during a panel discussion with Sun Yuning, Vice Minister General Administration of China Customs (GACC), Helena Marla, Director-General Tax and Customs Authority of Portugal, Edward Kieswetter, WCO Council Chairperson and Selina Clerk, Deputy Commissioner Operations, Jamaica Customs Agency, at the 6th World Customs Organization Global Authorized Economic Operators Conference taking place in Shenzhen, China.

CGC Adeniyi Attends WCO Conference on AEO in China

The CGC, who admitted that the Service’s level of implementing AEO is at the starting point, expressed his readiness to engage Customs officers in building their capacity about the program “so they will embrace the knowledge of how to implement it, and we will eventually get there.” He added.

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He said, “We started implementing a pilot AEO program a month ago, and we have been inspired by the policy and vision of the new Nigerian government led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to enhance the economic competitiveness and diversification.”

CGC Adeniyi Attends WCO Conference on AEO in China

The CGC further highlighted, “The indices that they used in compiling the ease of doing business is trading across borders, and AEO allows us to engage with our stakeholders and reduce the time and cost of doing business.”

CGC Adeniyi further clarified to the Moderator of the Panel Session, Mr Ian Sanders, the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, that “although the Service gets the support of the WCO, the organisers of the conference must consider the challenges that the Service experiences in the area of optimising stakeholders’ engagement, amongst others.”

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The Vice Minister of General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China, Wanga Lingjun, who earlier delivered his opening speech, welcomed the participants to Shenzhen for the 6th WCO Global AEO Conference, held between Wednesday, 8 to 10 May 2024.

Delivering his speech, Ian Sanders, the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, applauded the participating members of the AEO and described this year’s conference “as a platform for sharing a common commitment to transparent, secured and resilient trade ecosystem.”

Ian Sanders, who highlighted the contributions of small-scale businesses in transforming the global economy, said, “As we explore the transformative potential AEO program, it is crucial to acknowledge the backbone of our local economy: the micro, small and medium-size entrepreneurs or MSMEs”.

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CGC Adeniyi Attends WCO Conference on AEO in China

Emphasising the employment opportunities that MSMEs provide to global citizens and enhancing international trade, Mr Ian Sanders assured that the AEO program will engage the operators of MSMEs to benefit from the initiative.

During a separate panel discussion on ‘Advancing Women’s Empowerment through AEO Programmes’ with Customs Agents and Trade Experts from China, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic, CSC Nnenna Awa, the AEO lead to the Nigeria Customs Service spoke on factors addressing the barriers in global trade.

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