The World Customs Organisation (WCO) has acknowledged West Blue Nigeria Limited as the brain behind the highly successful Nigeria Customs Service Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) as well as the Nigeria Trade Hub (NTH).
The Comptroller General of Customs, Dikko Inde Abdullahi confirmed while presenting the award at a recent ceremony in Abuja to mark the International Customs Day 2015 that PAAR which was built by West Blue Consulting Ltd has delivered on the promise of generating revenue to the government and saving the country billions of Naira.
He said in 2014, the Nigeria Customs Service received 291,156 PAAR applications, out of which a total of 273,148 were issued. He said the support West Blue Nigeria gave the Service has made the Nigeria Customs Service stand out graciously in the world.
. He specifically commended the MD/CEO of West Blue Nigeria Ltd; Valentina Mintah for her role in the implementation of the Nigeria Trade Hub and the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report.
West Blue Nigeria Limited is a member of the global West Blue family with visible presence in; Ethiopia ,Ghana , India , Kenya , Malawi , Mozambique , Rwanda, South Africa ,South Sudan ,Swaziland ,Tanzania, UAE ,Uganda UK, USA ,Zambia , and Zimbabwe.
It will be recalled that the World Customs Organization had earlier honoured the Nigeria Customs Service by including the Nigeria Trade Hub into the organisation’s Single Window Compendium which in turn acts as a best practice guide and blueprint for WCO member administrations globally.
By the award and the success of both the PAAR and the Nigeria Trade Hub, the Customs has confirmed the inevitability of an ICT driven-customs administration in Nigeria,
The Nigeria Trade Hub, was also recently named as the “best rated platform” in the Social Media Awards Africa (SMAA), the only independent business awards programme judged by members of the press and industry analysts.
At the award ceremony tagged, ‘Night of Virtual Wonders’, which held in Lagos, 15 winners, from the 43 finalists representing all the five regions of the Africa, except Central Africa – emerged at the maiden edition of the awards.
The Nigeria Trade Hub is a trader’s introduction to international trade in Nigeria. The portal provides importers/exporters the correct information to enable them make decisions about doing business in Nigeria. It also provides information about all the Nigerian Regulatory agencies, their contact details, processes, documents, fees and processing times that an importer or exporter will need to align with, so as to obtain the necessary import permits and certificates that are required to ensure compliance.
The Customs boss said the twin concepts NTH and PAAR have aided revenue collection, greater involvement in trade facilitation, and enforcement of regulatory policies and practices through adjustment to both national and international imperatives to compete in the global arena.
In his key note speech at the WCO event, the Customs CG also said that the Service is now equipped with modern tools and technologies as compared to the previous years of Destination Inspection.
To ensure sustenance of the new ICT -driven Nigeria Customs Service, the CG added that Customs personnel now benefit from capacity building trainings in various Customs areas both locally and internationally.