Nigeria-Benin trade connectivity good for West African sub-region- Says Comptroller Uba
By Silas Onuoha
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Seme Area Command, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Mohammed Uba, has said that the trade inter-connectivity platform, which is ready to take off fully this month of June, 2019, will boost economic growth in Nigeria, Benin Republic and within the West African sub-region.
Comptroller Uba made this known at the sidelines of the stakeholders sensitisation workshop, at the joint border post, Seme.
According to him, “I can say confidently that the new platform is highly strategic and will boost economic growth for both countries, as well as the sub-region as a whole”.
He added, “Also, our officers and men at Seme Customs are going to work in tandem with the new initiative to ensure total compliance”.
Comptroller Uba also commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Ali Hameed on the successful sensitization exercise carried out for the new trade initiative.
He pointed out, “What you are seeing here shows that CGC Ali is working tirelessly to fulfill his mandates of greater revenue generation and trade facilitation for Nigeria’s economy and the sub-region at large.
“The new initiative is a welcome development and will promote trade facilitation and more revenue generation for both countries.”
Uba also commended the Customs authority of Benin Republic for their effort in making the programme a success.
In his remarks, CGC Ali, represented by Assistant Comptroller- General of Customs in charge of ICT, ACG Benjamin Aber, said the new initiative will pave the way for integration of importers and exporters declarations at border stations by both countries.
ACG Aber also informed stakeholders that declarations for imports within Nigeria and Benin Republic will be distributed electronically to both Customs, even as he assured that the system will be efficient and protected from hackers”.
In the same vein, the Director General of Benin Republic Customs, Sacca Boco Innousa Charles said the initiative will reduce smuggling in the system.
He mentioned that the plan to achieve trade connectivity by both countries began 15 years ago when leaders of both countries initiated the inter connectivity system.
“The new initiative is a model that will draw attention to Krake/Seme borders. This will also serve as example for other Customs administrations to replicate in other countries”, he asserted.