Nigerians to begin clearing goods from Cotonou ports – Customs

Marcus Amudipe
Marcus Amudipe



The acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, has stated that Nigerian importers would soon have the opportunity to complete the customs clearance process for their goods at the ports located in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

The disclosure was made in Abuja after the conclusion of a two-day working visit by the director-general and top officers of the customs service of Benin Republic.

During the two-day meeting, customs officials from Nigeria and Benin Republic engaged in the negotiation and establishment of several agreements aimed at enhancing economic connections between the two nations and addressing the issue of smuggling.

While responding to a question at the event, Adewale said, “We are building confidence in the system offered by the Republic of Benin, our importers are using their ports and vice-versa. If there are people in Benin Republic who want to use our ports, we try to build trust in our systems.

“And by virtue of this agreement, what it means is that Nigerian importers willing to use the ports in Cotonou can have their goods cleared in those ports because there would be an opportunity for them to pay duties on goods that are liable for payment of duties.

“We can account for the duties on those goods in the ports of arrival. So they will now be free to enter Nigeria.”

Also, while speaking about vehicle smuggling, he said, “It goes beyond vehicles. Any goods arriving in Cotonou ports, duty can be accessed and payment can be made and from there, it comes into the Nigerian territory.

“It is just like what happens when goods come in through Lagos or Port Harcourt; it is pretty much the same. But we have not got there. We have agreed in principle that we can operationalise this.

“So the steps that we are going to take to get us to that particular destination is what we are going to be working on. It was mentioned in the communique that we are going to establish timelines when we hope to achieve that particular milestone.”

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