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Nigeria, Benin Customs Meet Over Trade Facilitation, Border Security

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The Comptroller-General of Customs (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has said that customer administrators must work together not only to
generate revenue for the nation but to also ensure the security and safety of the people.

Mr Ali who stated this yesterday when he received Benin Republic’s Director General of Customs and Direct Tax, Mr. Saka Charles at the
Custom’s headquarters in Abuja said it is important for both country’s Custom Service to ensure that people are secured and protected while
transacting border related businesses.

The purpose of the meeting according to him was to revise and cement series of agreements and memorandum of understandings signed in the
past by both countries in relation to ease of business and security around the boarders.

“The memorandum centres on easing the difficulty of doing business between our countries as well as how the borders can be managed
effectively in terms of transient goods. There are extant laws set out to do this which also sets the modalities for transporting of goods.
All we need to do is take those agreements, dust them and ensure implementation. Once we set the ball rolling, everything will follow.”

In his response, the Director General of Customs and Direct Tax, Mr. Saka Charles while expressing his appreciation to the Nigeria Customs
said the collaboration between the two countries shows a keen spirit and discipline which would ultimately bring the customs services
closer.

He said that one of the difficulties they face is with respect to ‘Tokunbo’ cars through illegal routes into Nigeria.

“When you are seated under a tree that gives you shade, it is important not to cut that tree and that is why this collaboration with
Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. We would like to devise a road-map, which may include involving Benin military in tackling this problem.

“I think Nigeria and Benin have the same destiny and those who share such destiny also have to sit at a round table to discuss and find out
how the means of resources of the government can be used to sustain and fulfill their obligation to the public,” he said.

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