By Binta Jaiteh
Mr. Yankuba Darboe, Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority yesterday, Thursday, 4th May 2023 addressed the 29th regional conference of the Directors General, World Customs Organization for West and Central Africa Region.
Speaking at the conference held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre, Bijilo, the Commissioner General said the conference will focus on exploring innovative ways to strengthen cooperation and collaboration among various customs administrations.
“Our economies continue to integrate at regional and continental levels, it has become even more necessary for us to cooperate and support one another. We can find innovative solutions to common problems, improve our operational efficiency, and promote greater transparency and trust between customs and the business community,” he said.
He disclosed that they have a packed agenda that includes presentations on a wide range of policy and governance issues as they advocate for more collaboration and knowledge sharing among their various customs administration. Adding that, they must also focus on nurturing the next generation of Customs officials.
On his part, Hammed Ibrahim Ali, (RTD) Controller General Nigeria Customs and vice chairman of WCO-WCA said as usual the theme of the Conference is the same as the years International Customs Day (IC) with the theme: Nurturing the Next Generation by Promoting a Culture of Knowledge Sharing and Professional Pride in Customs
This, he said, emphasized the transfer of both knowledge and professional ethics of Customs from the old and existing generations to the new and incoming generations. And the region is faced with challenges such as insurgency and insecurity, economic crisis, and incomplete digitalization of customs processes, he added.
He added further “Others include poor infrastructure, non-compliance to Customs regulations and procedures by traders, and inadequate capacity-suctions infrastructure among others that affect our role as Customs Officers. Therefore, this is the time to demonstrate our capacity to nurture initiatives that are beneficial to our collective objective of building a formidable and integrated platform for customs in the region.”