By Ray Ugochukwu
… Assures of border security, enhanced trade facilitation
Just smarting from the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Comptroller Dera Nnadi today, reported and assumed duties as the helmsman of the Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He took over from Comptroller Bello Jibo, who has been redeployed to the Abuja headquarters as Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) in an acting capacity.
While taking over as the Customs Area Controller (CAC), the Imo State born anti-smuggling czar pledged to sustain and improve the tempo on trade facilitation at the country’s busiest land border.
In the brief handover ceremony, Nnadi had described Nigeria as a “strategic economic player in Africa”, adding that schemes like ongoing ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) and soon to take off African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), would be explored for the common good of the country.
“Nigeria’s economy is central to the West African sub-region with its population of over 200 million and the country (Nigeria) has the potentials to contribute to the over one billion African population through the AfCFTA regime”, he noted.
Nnadi therefore urged his officers, other government agencies, members of the border community and travelers to
embrace challenges in trans-border trade and comply with the law guiding international trade all the time.
While observing that the border communities had challenges especially infrastructure wise, he pointed out that such were not insurmountable as, according to him, there was the need to cover up such gaps in order to improve their standard of living and promote lawful sources of livelihood.
Ahead of the 2023 elections, he advised his officers to be polite to travelers and traders using the Seme corridor and be firm in curbing any form of lawlessness.
The CAC said his experience and knowledge from previous assignments across the border and his academic exposures would be deployed to border administration and management.
Recall that before the new Seme Controller went to NIPSS in 2022, he had a short but fruitful spell at the Idiroko Command where he was the toast of critical stakeholders.