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HomeBusinessNigerian importers may soon start clearing goods from Cotonou ports ~Customs Chief

Nigerian importers may soon start clearing goods from Cotonou ports ~Customs Chief

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On Tuesday, the acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, announced that Nigerian importers would soon be able to clear their goods from the ports in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

He disclosed this in Abuja at the end of a two-day working visit by the director-general and senior officials of the customs service of the Benin Republic.

Customs personnel from both countries entered into various agreements during the two-day meeting in order to boost trade relations between Nigeria and the Benin Republic as well as curb smuggling.

While responding to a question at the event, Adewale said, “We are building confidence in the system offered by the Republic of Benin; our importers are using their ports and vice versa.” If there are people in Benin Republic who want to use our ports, we try to build trust in our systems.

“And by virtue of this agreement, what it means is that Nigerian importers willing to use the ports in Cotonou can have their goods cleared in those ports because there would be an opportunity for them to pay duties on goods that are liable for payment of duties.

“We can account for the duties on those goods at the ports of arrival. So they will now be free to enter Nigeria.”

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Reacting to concerns about vehicle smuggling, he said, “It goes beyond vehicles. Any goods arriving in Cotonou ports can be accessed for duty and payment, and from there, they come into Nigerian territory.

Earlier at the workshop, interactive session, Adeniyi expressed the commitment of the Nigeria Customs Service to partner with the Republic of Benin Customs Administration with the aid of technology to manage cross-border trade between Nigeria and the Benin Republic.

The Ag. CGC appreciated Benin Customs and the Embassy of the country for expressing interest in collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service to enhance trade facilitation.

“The Customs administrations in both countries have a very good idea and technical know-how on what it means to trade; thus, we are back with a renewed enthusiasm to foster our relationship and make an impact on our trade facilitation roadmap, the Ag. CGC said.

He added, “It is our hope that the program will address the issues of trade and set a roadmap for the implementation of new strategies that will enhance the economy and revenue in Nigeria and Benin Republic. Thus, our organizations need to come up with ideas that will address the issues of transit and other progressive measures.”

He said that with the increasing global security challenges, the need for both customs administrations to work in synergy cannot be overemphasized, adding that their intended mutualism will boost their relationship and improve the economies of both nations.

(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)

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