Cus­toms Introduces Mea­sure to Im­prove Im­port Pro­cesses

THISDAY - - BUSINESS WORLD - Ero­mosele Abio­dun

The Nige­ria Cus­toms Ser­vice (NCS) has an­nounced that it has com­menced the use of a new tech­nol­ogy to boost its op­er­a­tions and end the long wait for goods to go through cus­toms and im­port pro­cesses.

Ac­cord­ing to the cus­toms, the new sys­tem, called NICIS (Nige­rian In­te­grated Cus­toms In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem) II, is used to fa­cil­i­tate trans­ac­tions at air­ports, sea ports, and land bor­ders.

The NSC in a state­ment said the tech­nol­ogy was launched in Oc­to­ber 2017 and was still be­ing de­ployed at a num­ber of com­mand cen­tres across the coun­try.

The tech­nol­ogy is ex­pected to boost the coun­try’s trade vol­ume and ease the com­plex­ity in in­ter­na­tional trade.

“For in­stance, user man­age­ment could not ac­com­mo­date mul­ti­ple tiers of se­cu­rity fea­tures in the old sys­tem. In con­trast, NICIS II in­te­grates state-of-the-art tech­nol­ogy sup­port­ing ve­hi­cle iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber ver­i­fi­ca­tion and bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion, among oth­ers.”

The NCS added, “An­other ex­am­ple is com­pat­i­bil­ity and de­vice sup­port. The old sys­tem did not run on Ap­ple Mac, tablets, or smart­phones.

“It worked only par­tially on MS Win­dows 7 and did not sup­port Win­dows 8 at all. Not ideal for mod­ern op­er­a­tions, quick turn­around or staff ef­fi­ciency on the move.

“It’s not a big sur­prise, then, that Nige­ria de­cided to move on to a sys­tem that could truly sup­port trade mod­erni­sa­tion.

“NICIS II is a real im­prove­ment for trade stake­hold­ers, who can now ac­cess a mod­ern web in­ter­face any­time, any­where, across a va­ri­ety of plat­forms, and ben­e­fit from au­toma­tion and speed­ing up of pro­cess­ing.”

Up­graded of­fices, they dis­closed, were al­ready see­ing a dra­matic drop in clear­ance time.

“In May 2018, it was re­duced by more than half com­pared to May 2017. Some newly de­ployed com­mands have even seen a re­duc­tion of the clear­ance time by a fac­tor of three.

“So far, the new NICIS II sys­tem has been de­ployed at eight ports ac­count­ing for 78 per cent of the coun­try’s an­nual dec­la­ra­tions. It will pro­gres­sively be avail­able at no fewer than 38 area com­mands across the coun­try, “the NCS said.

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