Apapa Customs Hosts Sensitization on Transparency, Accountability in Public Office


The Nigeria Customs Service Apapa Area Command in collaboration with the Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Department of State Security, Apapa, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Apapa, Nigeria Army School of Intelligence and National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has held a one-day sensitization program for officers on Transparency and Accountability in Public Service. 

The event which took place on Thursday at Apapa Area Command was well attended by its senior officers.

Speaking at the event, the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area Command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta noted that it has become imperative for officers and stakeholders to be transparent and accountable for their actions and inactions in the workplace as well as every sphere of life.

Comptroller Yusuf emphasized that the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) reform strategy, has compelled the service to adopt diverse methods to ensure transparency and accountability, by automating existing processes and procedures. Some of the technology deployed he noted, including but not limited to the following:

The use of seamless port clearing procedures which differentiates between the trader and customs zones respectively, risk management integrated tool for selectivity based on the integrity of the importation, the use of artificial intelligence to select and assign examiners for cargo inspection, Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology (NIIT) to conduct
examination using a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) to determine the content of cargo and analyze images accordingly. 

Other measures placed are the use of the Trade Hub Portal (NTH) to disseminate information concerning import/export and transit trade and the use of e-auction sales for auctioning seized and condemned goods.

The CAC said, the technology deployed is to suit the trade operating environment to encourage compliance in the trade supply chain and economic growth while increasing transparency and taking advantage of new technologies.

In his words; "As the lead agency in trade facilitation reforms, the Service is committed to constantly reinventing its strategies and adapting to present-day challenges through partnering with other relevant government agencies in the port for effective ease of doing business which has yielded unmeasurable improvements in trade efficiency".

He pointed out clearly that Inter-Agency synergy remained a key factor in intelligence gathering to tackle security challenges in Nigeria.  

"I would like to use this opportunity once again to commend the existing and sustained synergy with our stakeholders and government operatives in Apapa Port. The need for synergy as a stimulant in collaboration and coordination cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, we are all enjoined to consolidate and foster this enviable relationship which is indeed a great example worthy of emulation". He explained.         

Also speaking at the event, the Commandant, of the Nigerian Army School of Intelligence, represented by Major M. D Sambo, reiterated the need for continued cooperation and intelligence sharing amongst all military and paramilitary agencies as one sure way of fostering synergy and combatting crimes and in the country.                      

The Resident Commissioner of the ICPC Lagos State, Mr. Kabir Elelu commended Customs Apapa Command for standing up in the fight against corruption. 

He pointed out the need for integrity and a high-level sense of responsibility amongst officers at their workstations and said moral values remain one pivotal part of transparency and accountability.

Mr. Elelu noted that the ICPC had initiated a policy called; National Ethics and Integrity policy which was adopted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2020.

“It is an initiative of the ICPC. The idea behind it is that the state at which Nigeria is today in regards to the decadence and corruption is as a result of the moral decadence in the society". He noted.

“These values of yesteryears have been eroded and that is why we came together to initiate this policy which was adopted by the federal government. It has seven core values among which are personal responsibility, integrity, national unity, professionalism, human dignity, patriotism, and nationalism.
The whole idea is that every Nigerian and foreigner doing business in Nigeria is expected to imbibe these values and preach them” he said.

The Commander of NDLEA in charge of Apapa Command, Ishiaku Khwajafa while appraising the Drug Agency, noted that the Chairman/CEO  Brigadier Buba Marwa (Rtd) since assumption of office, has given the Agency a new vent of excellence and called for responsible and exemplary leadership by Men and Officers.          

Former President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Eugene Nweke called for a new curriculum and orientation for young officers, as the next generation of leadership will depend on the values inculcated in the young officers.

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