4th February, 2011
The World Customs Organisation(WCO) has expressed satisfaction over the on-going Customs reforms andÂ modernisation programme in Nigeria, which it said has impacted positively on the operations of theÂ service.
The modernisation programme, whichÂ started over aÂ year ago under the imcumbent Comptroller-GeneralÂ Abdullahi Dikko, hasÂ changed the orientation, psyche and work ethics of men and officers of theÂ Nigeria Customs while raising the standard of their operations, which are basically driven byÂ technology.
This much was acknowledged by Mr Lars Karlsson, the immedite past Director of capacity-building in theÂ WCO, while speaking recently in Abuja at the International Customs Day ceremony.
He disclosed that the world customs body was pleased with the steady progress being made by NigeriaÂ Customs in its reforms programme which he said has placed the service in the leadership positionÂ within the West-Africa and Central African regions.
Mr Karlsson, who is also the Deputy Director-General of Swedish Customs, disclosed that: “We listen toÂ the views of Alhaji Dikko at the capacity-building office of WCO. We not only listen, we also act onÂ his views.
He futher stated that the other countries within the region are encouraged by the level of progressÂ made by the Nigeria Customs which they are also emulating.
The WCO official said he was therefore not surprised that Nigeria is the Vice- President of WCO withinÂ the West African and Central-African region.
He, however, warned the management of the service not to get carried away with the modest achievementsÂ made so far in the modernisation programme as there is still a lot of ground to coverÂ to make theÂ Nigeria Customs a world class organisation.
During the celebration of the World Customs Day which the Nigeria Customs marked with fanfare, DikkoÂ regaled the audience with the plethora of achievements which his administration has recordedÂ in theÂ last one year.
According to him, building the knowledge base of officers is being pursued with vigour.
Dikko disclosed that towards building highly cerebral workforce, the customs management has so farÂ trained 8,000 out of its 16,000 staff locally and abroad.
In pursuit of raising an efficient and proficient workforce, a first class Command and staff collecgeÂ at Gwagwalada, a suburb of Abuja, is almost completed for advanced training and re-training ofÂ officers in the command positions from Nigeria and other sister customs National administrationsÂ within the West and Central Africa regions.