The Minister of Finance, Ms Kemi Adeosun, has promised to ensure a salary increase for officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Mrs. Adeosun made the promise at the celebration of International Customs Day at the Customs Command and Staff College Gwagwalada, Abuja, on Friday.
The theme of the event was “A secure business environment for economic development’’.
The minister was represented by the Ministry’s Director of Finance, Oladudumi Biosola.
Mrs. Adeosun urged officers of the NCS to put in more efforts to rise above target in revenue drive.
She said that security of trade environment was central for business to proper, adding that security aspect of Customs role was as important as its revenue role.
“The theme of this year Customs day coincides with the current ease of doing business initiative of the Federal Government.
“We understand that the initiative is already yielding dividends based on the fact that we have improved by 24 points in the World Bank ranking system,’’ Mrs. Adeosun said.
She commended the NCS for its remarkable success in ensuring national security in the past years.
According to her, seizure of arms and ammunitions at the seaports were the possible indications that the Service is alive to its responsibilities.
The minister also pledged to give the NCS the required support to succeed.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, said the Service had made steady progress in automation of its processes.
The Comptroller-General said in addition to these were other reforms aimed at ensuring a secured business environment.
Mr. Ali said that other ongoing reforms in the Service were repositioning it through strategic deployment, training and automation of Customs processes.
He said that clearance process through Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), fast track facility for compliant traders and the post clearance audit were aimed at reducing clearance time and cost.
“The minister has been working diligently on how to see the welfare of the NCS improves.
“We are presently working on the computation of figures and she is waiting for that figure.
“As soon that is made available, then, the decision between her and Mr President will determine what Customs gets.
“I assure all Customs officers that between the minister and the President, both are all ready to see that there is an improvement in welfare of NCS,’’ Mr. Ali said.
The Customs boss urged Nigerians to support indigenous businesses by patronising made in Nigeria goods to encourage local production and boost industrial base.
Source : (NAN)