World Customs Day: Nigeria Customs embraces digital technology for revenue generation

MINA Blog- The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced that digital technology and scaled up data usage in its operations as the secret to boosting its revenue generation capacity.

NCS Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), made this known on Wednesday, in Abuja, during the 2022 celebration of the World Customs Day (WCD).

He added that such efforts had yielded dividends through the building of its data ecosystem.

The theme for the 2022 World Customs Day celebration is, “Scaling Up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem.”

The theme was chosen by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to highlight Customs progress on digital transformation.

Ali noted that the theme was chosen to build a customs’ data ecosystem based on trust, to recognise the extensive volume of data collected from citizens, government agencies, local and transnational companies.

He said such information, guided by formal data, could be used in enhancing the fight against fraud and the collection of revenue to enhance its performance.

The Comptroller-General also said that embracing a data culture by bridging the human resource gap and fostering a collaborative culture among Customs administrations would build a better Customs ecosystem.

“NCS acknowledges and appreciates the fundamental effort made to implement our legacy system- the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information Systems (NICIS) and the NICIS II platform, which serve as the basis upon which the NCS pursued digital transformation and building a data ecosystem.

“The outcome of this is obvious in the growth of our capacity to facilitate more trade transactions which peaked at 858,843 transactions in 2021. This translates to 17.26 per cent increase in the volume of transactions handled in 2020.

“Another patent result of our effort in this regard is in our landmark revenue collection of N2.28 trillion in 2021. All these would not be possible without digital transformation and scaling up the use of data,” he explained.

Dr Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, stressed that to nurture this data driven culture, Customs administrations needed to enhance data literacy of their staff, so that they could interpret and analyze data accurately.

He urged the Customs administration to include data science into their curriculum for newly recruited officers and offer courses to familiarize officers with the collection and analysis of data.

“To support Customs administrations, the WCO Secretariat has placed data-related topics on the agenda of several committees and work groups, organized awareness raising seminars and designed a capacity building framework for data analytics, ” he said.

January 26 every year is celebrated by Customs all over the world as the inauguration date of the World Customs Organization, WCO.

The day provides an opportunity for the Customs to reflect on the conditions and environment within which Customs officers perform their statutory responsibilities.

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