Customs explore AI to tackle smuggling

The Nigerian Customs Service says it is exploring the use of advanced Artificial Intelligence to combat the challenge of smuggling and to boost trade in Nigerian seaports and land borders.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, stated this disclosure during the unveiling of the Time Release Study service at a two-day workshop on Virtual Reality Technology installation, organised by the World Customs Organisation recently.

The Assistant Comptroller-General, Malanta Yusuf, represented the customs boss at the VRT training. He described the adoption of technologies such as VR and TRS as initiatives to streamline cargo clearance and boost trade enhancement in Nigeria.

He explained that TRS is a globally acknowledged tool by WCO to facilitate the clearance of goods from arrival until their physical release.

The comptroller-general said, “Today, we are joining other Customs administrations in the world that have embraced the tools developed by the World Customs Organisation to promote the growth of international trade.

“The WCO remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing customs procedures through various instruments and tools, such as the Revised Kyoto Convention and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

“Among these initiatives is the Time Release Study developed to provide comprehensive insights into customs operations’ efficiency as the TRS in Nigeria, starting with Tincan Island Port, serving as the pilot location.”

According to Adeniyi, the TRS method is a systematic and standardised approach used to measure the total duration of time from the arrival of goods at the customs border until their release.

Virtual reality is a simulated experience that employs pose tracking and three-dimensional, near-eye displays to give the user an immersive feel of a virtual world.

Over the years, Nigeria has witnessed a rise in the smuggling of small arms and light weapons into the country, a development which has worsened terrorism, human trafficking, and organised crime.

The closure of land borders to tackle smuggling, particularly of items like rice, has also been a measure taken to address this issue.

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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