The much talked about tool for better efficiency and faster trade facilitation for the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service has been launched at the Marriott Hotel, Ikeja Lagos on Thursday.

The Time Release Study (TRS) is the tool and it has been described as “a strategic and internationally recognised tool developed by the World Customs Organisation for the clearance of goods from the arrival unit until the physical release of the cargo”.

The various Units and Ministries that are relevant in the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service made their presence felt at the occassion.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments was at hand to deliver a speech so was a representative of the Minister

For Marine and Blue Economy as well as the representative of the Minister for Finance.

The host agency which is the Nigeria Customs Service had its Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Adewale Adeniyi in attendance as were the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the representatives of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and other notable personalities representatiing different government agencies and professional bodies who were at the occassion.

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The CGC making his speech and to his left is the CNPRO.
The event was kick-started with an opening address by the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, Strategic Research and Planning, Alfa AI who noted that the Time Release Study is a standard way to measure the time taken to release cargo.

The speech was immediately followed with a video message from the WCO secretary general, Ian Saunders who acknowledged the efforts put in by the Nigeria Customs Service in creating a more efficient Service in line with the ethos of the World Customs Organisation.

In his remark, the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi elaborated on the steps being taken by his officers and men in line with the policies of the Federal Government to fully meet with the responsibilities of the Service with tools such as the TRS which was being launched on the day and with the Tin Can Island Port Command as the pilot scheme.

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He said that the NCS remains committed to acheiving higher efficiency as he praised “the WCO in being steadfast in its commitment to advancing Customs procedures through the initiation of various instruments and tools such as the TRS”.

The Time Release Study (TRS) as a measure was initiated by the WCO in 2006 to help engender greater efficiency and it has since been adopted as a great standard by many countries including in Africa who have been using the standard to improve the overall facilitation of trade through the reduction in cargo dwell time.

The NIMASA DG in his remark said that the Nigeria Customs Service is not only trying to change the narrative in the country, but also in Africa through bold steps such as the one being taken on the day.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments Mrs. Doris Uzoka-Anite in her delivery said that this initiative is a reflection of the dynamic nature of the processes needed to achieve the desired goals. She said that the Ministry she heads is always willing to implement all positive policies that will facilitate trade.

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The Minister for Marine and Blue Economy was represented by the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Pius Ukeyima Akutah who extended his congratulations to the NCS for the initiative.

He says that the TRS is a tool which is in line to streamline all procedures in order to promote trade facilitation.

The Minister for Finance was represented by Mrs. Lydia Jafiar who delivered the keynote address.

She said that the launch of the TRS on the day is in line to acheive the objectives of the renewed hope agenda of the Federal Government.

She also added that it is a way of really facilitating international trade and helping the Customs to acheive its core mandate.

The representative of the WCO, Mr. Stephen Muller promised his Organisation’s support to the Nigeria Customs Service in its quest to play its role very well by making sure that the needed capacity is being built.

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