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Customs: Nigeria, Benin Republic to inaugurate connectivity platform to facilitate trade

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The Nigeria Customs Service and its counterpart in Benin Republic have concluded plans to inaugurate a new website on June 20, to facilitate trade.

The Public Relations Officer of the service, Mr Joseph Attah, told the News Agency of Nigeria in an interview in Abuja on Thursday that the platform would be inaugurated at Seme border by the heads of customs of the two countries.

He said this move was part of the drive by ECOWAS to connect all customs administrations within sub region to facilitate trade and tackle smuggling.

He disclosed that with this agreement, henceforth, there would be single declaration that would be viewed from both ends pointing out that whatever declared at Benin-Republic would be seen by NCS in Nigeria.

According to him, the idea is to have a seamless business transaction that will deal with vices associated with crossed-border trade.

“What this means is that, if you import anything into Coutonu port and once you make declaration there, the declaration will be automatically seen by Customs in Seme.

” So never again, you will declare 100 items there and come to Nigeria to say is 65 for the purpose of evading payment of duties or concealing what the law says, it should not be brought to the country.

“It is a platform that enables both sides to communicate and exchange trade information.

“The same thing, if one is exporting something from Seme border, if you make declaration, there will automatically see it and it will hit the intermediary platform that will electronically interprets into a French” he explained.

Attah said the platform would save time, ensure transparency as well as accurate revenue generation.

He added that it would also boost security because the project would involve deployment of non intrusive equipment like scanner and other gadgets in the process of examination.

The spokesperson said the when the platform was inaugurated, it would make the border business process quicker, smoother and transparent.

He said the new agreement would boost diplomacy because working together would enhance relationship between the two countries.

“The platform will raise the level of compliance of fiscal policies of both countries”

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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