Nigeria, Benin Customs sensitize stakeholders on new inter- connectivity application 

Segun Oladipupo and Dapo Olawuni      |      

Nigeria Customs Service and Republic of Benin Customs yesterday assured importers and other stakeholders that the issue of corruption in import processing within the corridor will soon be a thing if the past.

The Customs of both countries  made the declaration during a sensitization programme for importers and agents on its interconnectivity application for imports declaration.

Under the new system, declarations made for imports transiting from either of the countries to the other will be electronically shared.

Single declarations made at either of the countries will be electronically accessible to both countries and importers do not need to declare a second time during transit.

Controller General of Nigeria Customs, Col. Hameed Ali and Director General of Benin Republic Customs, Sacca Boco Innousa Charles, assured stakeholders that the system will be protected from hacking and any form of disruption.

Ali allayed fears of likelihood of reneging by Benin as the case in the past saying officers on the project are committed to its success.

Ali, represented by Benjamin Aber, Assistant Comptroller General in charge of ICT and his Beninoise counterpart assured importers and exporters that the system will be trader friendly, increase revenue, prevent smuggling and promote trade.

Also speaking at the sensitization meeting , Charles described the initiative as signal of a dream come true.

According to him, moves for achieving the initiative began about 15years ago when leaders of both countries initiated it

He said “The new mechanism is a fall out of previous meetings between Nigerian President and our president

“Our presidents held a meeting 15years ago in Badagry. I was there and today the efforts of both countries is about yielding results.

“I was a member of the economic watch committee. I never knew I will be here to be part of those seeing it come real

“This forum is about sharing and knowing responsibilities , to improve our incomes as various economies.

“This is a model initiative that will draw attention to Krake/Seme. It will be an example for other customs administrations to copy from

“We should continue as partners in building a better economies for our two countries.

“I always feel at home whenever I come to Nigeria for ECOWAS meetings. I urge you all (Nigerians) I to feel at home in our country.

The project is expected to take off before end of the month when it will be formally launched

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