The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) may begin enforcement of Electronic Cargo Tracking System by 2019 if all things work out as planned, comptroller-general of customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has said. The aim is to help reduce transit time, enhance cargo safety and help traders to better predict arrival of goods.
“It is our hope that by next year – all things work out fine, we should be talking about enforcing the use of Electronic Cargo Tracking System. If all things being equal, the finances are available and we are in agreement with the technology service providers, we should be able to start something; even if it’s on a smaller scale,” the Customs CG said yesterday while responding to a question by our reporter during a joint press conference between him and the commissioner for customs, Uganda Revenue Authority, Mr Kateshumbwa Dickson in Abuja.
Electronic cargo tracking helps government agencies in enhancing enforcement of cargo handling regulations, maintaining the region as the preferred trade route for cargo and thereby improving tax collection by curbing incidents of dumping.
Ali said he has already tasked his research and development department to look at all the proposals on his table regarding the planned electronic tracking system and identify all “we need to really get cargo tracking in place.”
It is not clear yet when the enforcement would commence. Ali said the Service was in the process of getting the right statistics before engaging the stakeholders to have their buy-in on the project.
“If you don’t get their buy-in there is always going to be problem because they are the ones who will eventually put these trackers in their vehicles,” he acknowledged.
The Uganda customs commissioner was the guest lecturer for the Nigeria Customs’ College Lecture Series held at the the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College in Gwagwalada, Abuja, tagged: “The Leadership Question in Modern Customs Management.”
In his remarks, Dickson said it was time to change tactics and adopt new models of identifying counterfeit and contraband products by the Nigeria customs.
He said as customs, “We must stand out. We must look unique. Team building and appreciation of staff is key to performance of the officers.”
Further, Dickson said , “Humility has great blessings for you as a leader, no matter your rank. Be one for unity and shun individuality. As a leader in customs, shun individuality. Anytime you run away from responsibilities, you deny yourself the opportunity to shine.”
Dickson spoke the mind of Ali, who told the officers of the Service that “We must have a systemic way of growing in our service. When you are doing well, you know. And when you are not doing well, you also know. Inner motivation is what keep you doing the job. You motivate yourself internally.
“You don’t wait for anybody to motivate you. External motivating doesn’t really motivate you. Internal motivation is what comes first. Let’s work together for the interest of this service.”