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FGN Does Not Have A Reliable System To Control Importation – CUSTOMS DG

The Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service,  NCS, Colonel Hameed Ali (retd.) has revealed that the Federal Government of Nigeria, FGN, took the decision to shut down importation of vehicles through the land borders, owing to the lack of a reliable system that would assist it in controlling importation.

The Customs DG, who was represented by the Assistant Comptroller, Information and Communication Technology, Benjamin Aber, at a stakeholders’ meeting on the new initiative, argued that with a successful implementation of the bilateral electronic connectivity programme between Nigeria and Republic of Benin, the FGN might lift the ban on items coming through the land border.

According to Ali, “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.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

The new platform, according to the DG would be deployed June 20, 2019.

It would be recalled that the FGN had in January 2017 ordered a ban on importation of vehicles through the land borders.

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