Nigerian importers who intend to import goods through Cotonou Ports in Benin Republic can now do so legally.
According to a communique issued at the end of the meeting in Abuja, the decision to establish a clearing station for Nigeria-bound goods was one of the highlights of the two-day working visit of Mr. Alain Kinkati, Director-General of Customs Service of Benin Republic.
Mr. Adewale Adeniyi, Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), indicated that the framework’s contents are being worked out.
According to the agreement, Nigeria-bound commodities would be assessed and applicable duties would be paid in the originating nation, with such levies credited to the Nigerian government via the Nigerian Customs Service.
Adeniyi described the framework as a great progress in the sub-regional integration and trade facilitation efforts in collaboration with their counterparts from neighboring Benin Republic.
He went on to say that he has “significantly decreased obstacles around trade routes as the number of checkpoints have been dramatically reduced, “working with the police authority, with a vow to reduce them to the bare minimum.”
The Acting Customs Commissioner also stated that plans are nearing completion to align its Information Technology (IT) system with that of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in order to reduce vehicle smuggling into the country.
Similarly, the Customs chief stated that his administration is “harmonising the list of prohibited items with the Republic of Benin” in order to enhance the organization’s security function.