NCS to redefine operations with AI-driven solutions

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said it is set to redefine its operations with the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions like ChatGPT and advanced geo-spatial intelligence approaches such as GEOINT.

According to the NCS, these technologies present immense potential for enhancing communication, decision-making processes, and enforcement operations within Customs.

The National Public Relations Officer of the Service, Abdullahi Maiwada, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, said the service is about to witness remarkable transformations as the newly appointed Acting Comptroller-General, Adewale Adeniyi, is set to spearhead innovative projects aimed at unlocking the full potential of the service.

He said with a strong focus on collaboration, engagement with international organisations, the pursuit of cutting-edge technologies, and consolidating on previous gains, the NCS is poised to redefine customs practices for the better.

He noted that the NCS has already established a GEOINT unit, leveraging geospatial data, mapping techniques, and satellite imagery to gain valuable insights for customs operations.

“Collaborative engagements are already underway to operationalise the use of GEOINT to enhance the efficiency of NCS enforcement operations and contribute to overall efficiency. These advancements underline the NCS’s proactive approach toward embracing cutting-edge technologies,” he said.

Maiwada noted that the acting CG had engaged in strategic discussions with partners such as the World Customs Organisation (WCO), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Japan Customs Administration.

He said the discussions aimed to garner support for the establishment of a customs Laboratory, a significant milestone in enhancing customs operations and trade facilitation across Nigeria.

Maiwads noted that amidst the current landscape of evolving global trade dynamics, the NCS Laboratory will provide comprehensive solutions to address challenges such as counterfeit goods, smuggling, and non-compliant imports, thereby bolstering revenue generation and ensuring the protection of public health and safety.

“With its advanced analytical capabilities, the laboratory is expected to deliver precise identification, verification, and classification of goods, enabling efficient enforcement measures and informed decision-making, while fostering an environment of trust and credibility within Nigeria’s trade ecosystem, marking a transformative step towards achieving seamless customs operations, trade competitiveness, and national economic growth,” he stated.

He said the acting CG is also focusing on crucial areas such as conducting a Time Release Study (TRS), implementing the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program, leadership, and management development.

“With a strong emphasis on technology and international partnerships, the NCS is well-positioned to make substantial advancements in customs operations, ultimately benefiting trade facilitation, security, and operational effectiveness,” he added.

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja

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