The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has commenced a two-day training/seminar for Public Relations Officers of the Service and journalists who are members of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ),Lagos State Council, at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday.
The training which was brokered by the Lagos Council NUJ, was approved by the leadership of the Customs, Retired Col. Hameed Ali.
It will be recalled that a key part of Adeleye Ajayi’s Campaign Manifesto before his emergence as NUJ Chairman, Lagos State Council, was the need to train and retrain journalists in Lagos.
Twenty -nine Journalists from Lagos Council are currently participating in the training at the Customs Service Training College, Ikeja with the Commandant of the College Mr. Sarkin Kebbi, welcoming participants
He said: “It’s a pleasure as the management of Nigeria Customs Training College Ikeja welcomes you to this two-day seminar with the theme ” Responsible Report of Customs Operations: Imperative for National Security and Economy.
“This event couldn’t have come at a better time considering the situation of things in our country at the moment.”
The commandant further tasked journalists to report fair and balanced stories when reporting Customs activities and operations.
On his part, the National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah, refreshed the minds of the participants on why it became necessary to train journalists.
“Our activities in Customs have always attracted mixed reactions.
“We also have some Nigerians who choose to criticize and attack Customs operatives on duty,” he said.
Attah further stressed that there was need for NCS to partner with the media in order to be able to implement government policies.
“To achieve this, the media becomes very crucial and indispensable.
“This, therefore, underscores why the NCS is key to training journalists, so that they can all be well informed of Customs Operations in the interest of Nigeria”. he added.
The Customs Zone ‘A’ Coordinator who was represented by Comptroller Sanni Madugu, described the event as timely.
“This kind of gathering is the first I have witnessed in recent years because the media need to understand what we do,” he added.
The seminar was spiced with paper presentation from which participants raised questions.
A paper on “The Language of International Trade, Overview and Terminologies” was delivered by the Deputy National PRO of Nigeria Customs Service, DC Timi Bomodi.
Chairman, Nigeria Union ofJournalists, Lagos State Council, Mr Adeleye Ajayi, was equally a presenter.
He presented a paper on ” Media Relations Best Practices”.
Next was a paper on ” Understanding Free Trade and the Challenges of Regulations” delivered by DC Anthony Ayalogu.
Others are Mr. Emeka Okoroanyawu who presented a paper on ” Navigating Social Media and the Menace of Fake News” and Comptroller Kunle Oleyede an ICT and Modernisation Expert who gave a lecture on “E- Customs- The Future of Trade Facilitation”.
Participants at the event lauded the Nigeria Customs Service and the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Council for facilitating such an event that had further deepened their knowledge on the activities and Operations of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).