- As CBN cashless policy, Benin tariff barriers shrink import
The Seme Border Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has handed over $6million fake notes to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni, the Area Controller of the Command, carried out the hand-over today while he also addressed journalists on the Command’s activities in the first quarter of 2023.
Meanwhile, the Command also intercepted over 2242 bags of smuggled rice, 7 tankers of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), among others in the first quarter of 2023.
Other high profile seizures within the period under review include; 550 pieces of donkey skin with duty paid value (DPV) of N10,689,504; 227,610 liters of PMS with DPV of N51,075,684; six (6) Maltese International Passports with the same picture of a lady but bearing different names. Two (2) Senegalese International Passports.
“Three (3) Togolese International Passports; Four (4) Republic of Benin International Passports, One (1) Republic of Niger International Passport and Ten (10) International Driving License of these various countries were seized and will be handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service on the orders of the CGC and in line with the Service desire to consolidate the synergy between NCS and partner agencies”
“Also seized by the Command is 1160 pieces of dead rats, 1102 pieces of dead tiny birds and 34 pieces of monkey skin and 14 parcels of cannabis sativa,” Comptroller Dera Nnadi said.
He, however, expressed dissatisfaction that the Command recorded a shortfall in export to the tune of 75,000 metric tons in first quarter of 2023 with the Command recording 40,096.47 metric tons exports via 1243 trucks, a reduction from the 116,053.9 metric tons carried via 3006 trucks in 2022 first quarter.
The Command also generated N350,099,541.71 in the first three month, representing 23.09 percent shortfall in comparison with the 2022 Q1 figure which was N455,195,250.47.
According to Comptroller Nnadi, the deficit is attributable to the lull in activities during the cashless policy and the wait by the traders for the outcome of the general election.
“Recall that I had earlier informed you that the economic policy of the Republic of Benin who charge fees on goods in transit to Nigeria constitute tariff barriers to trade along the corridor. These affected the Command’s revenue and there is a need for urgent review.”
“One of the core mandates of the Service in Seme as elsewhere is trade facilitation. The Command is conscious of its strategic location as the foremost frontier for trade and tourism in West and Central Africa particularly the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and the emerging African Continental Free Tade Area (AFCFTA). Nigeria has lots of potentials in both trade regimes considering its GDP. population and industrial capacity which is the highest in the West and Central Africa subregion and indeed Africa,” he explained.
Under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), the Command facilitated 425 trucks with fees amounting to N314,720,938.71. Similarly, 412 baggage declarations with duty amounting to N58,844,382.