Nigeria Customs Service Reviews Trade Agreement With Benin Republic

Nigeria Customs Service

As part of efforts to curb smuggling activities and increase revenue drive, the Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday reviewed the trade facilitation agreement between Nigeria and the Benin Republic

The agreement, which has been in use since June 2005, was reviewed due to some challenges in its operations.

Although heads of customs in both countries agreed to the new course, they warned that sanctions awaited any country that would deviate on the terms of agreement.

Seme border, one of the towns bothering Nigeria and the Republic of Benin that gives access into the city of Lagos by land is one major route that the Nigeria Customs Service is focusing on.

Going by records, it is one of the highest revenue generation point for the Nigeria Customs different from the sea ports.

To plug revenue leakages as a result of smuggling activities, the initial agreement was reworked to chart three major courses – commence actions on formal interconnectivity, through the setting up of an ICT base station, set up a consultative framework that will meet twice a year to address all emerging issues and undertake quarterly evaluation of the implementation of this agreement.
After the reworking of the agreement, it was presented to the management teams of both countries.

It took over 14 straight hours for the officials of Benin Republic Customs to come to conclusion on the terms of the agreement.

They insisted that adequate logistics must be provided by Nigeria for them to attest to the agreement.

With further consultation, both parties shifted grounds and appended their signatures to the agreement.

As the implementation of the agreement that will facilitate trade and promote economic development in the two countries is awaited, the stringent penalty that goes with the failure to comply with the decision taken was emphasised.

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