FG To Lift BAN On Land Border Vehicle Importation — Nigerian Customs - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER

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FG To Lift BAN On Land Border Vehicle Importation — Nigerian Customs

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The federal government of Nigeria has hinted on the possibility of lifting the 2017 ban imposed on importation of vehicles through land border.

This is coming as the Nigeria Customs Service and the Customs Service of the Republic of Benin are at the verge of perfecting a joint electronic data sharing initiative that will facilitate information exchange on cargoes coming into Nigeria through the border.

The Comptroller General, NCS, Col Hameed Ali (retd.), divulged information about the bilateral electronic connectivity programme at a stakeholders’ meeting Thursday.

The Punch reported that Ali said the decision of the government to shut down importation of vehicles through the border was because the government did not have a reliable system that would assist in controlling importation.

With declarations made for imports transiting from either of the countries electronically shared, the process of import and export would be done in a transparent manner and the government seeing such transparency would be convinced to relax its stance on land border importation.

He said “Vehicles were formerly being imported through the Seme border, but suddenly it was banned because  the pressure of enforcement of anti-smuggling for vehicles and claiming of lives and revenue were becoming too alarming, so the government had to restrict the importation through Nigerian ports.

“When vehicles came through the land border, we did not have a record of how the imported cars came here and fake documentation became a common phenomenon. The ban was just a control measure against the practice.”

He added, “By the time we successfully deploy this reliable, transparent and predictable programme that would assist government agencies, not only Customs, to control and regulate the importation of vehicles, the government may decide to relax such restrictions.”

Ali said the establishment of the automated platform and bilateral connectivity meant that any truck that left the Republic of Benin, the information would already be remotely sent in English to Nigeria Customs Service system.

He also gave the assurance that illegal checkpoints mounted by Customs officers and other security agencies along the border corridors would disappear automatically.

“The roads also have to be fixed, because we cannot automate clearing of goods between the Customs and at the end, the stakeholders would be complaining,” he pointed out.

According to him, the new platform would be deployed by June 20.

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