Cameroon on January 26, 2016 joined the rest of the world to observe the 64th World Customs Day. The event which took place at the Yaounde military Airbase in Mvan was placed on the theme; “Digital Customs: Progressive Engagement”. Commemorative activities were chaired by the Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, in the company of the Director General of Customs, Fongod Edwin Nuvaga. The first phase of the event was dedicated to speech making, with Fongod Edwin Nuvaga highlighting the benefits of digitization to the customs sector. He cited the use of scanners at the Douala Seaport for an overview of the content of containers as a novelty that is paying off. The operationalisation of the Nexus+ Cameroon Customs GPS Project to trace the movement of goods and services within and without, the creation of an interactive website and the electronic payment of duties and taxes are some of the strategies that are catapulting Cameroon customs.
Mobilising resources for the State as well as protecting the country’s environment especially at the borders and the business climate are some of the challenges of the Customs Department. The Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey called on the management of the department to redouble efforts. Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey said computerizing the customs sector was a commitment that must be taken seriously. He said the need to pursue the modernization of the administration was primary, with customs official expected to simplify procedures for business persons and all stakeholders of the sector. This is only achievable if services delivery is improved upon, said Finance Minister. He therefore urged the entire customs family to take advantage of the Information and Communication Technologies era to digitize, modernize and materialize the sector. “I believe that the challenge will be met given the dedication and commitment of the management,” said Alamine Ousmane Mey.
The entire customs family paid homage to some of their colleagues going on retirement. Gifts were handed to them. Some staff received certificates of honour from the International Customs Organisation. Other officers received certificates of excellence as recognition on their dedication to service. Over 500 graduates from the Advanced School of Administration and Magistracy received epaulets. Some 1, 000 Cameroonians all newly recruits into the corps also received epaulets. A military march past ended festivities at the Military Airbase.