Customs Bilateral Connectivity May Increase Smuggling—-Ali

Even as the Nigeria Customs Service and the Benin Republic Customs yesterday officially commissioned the bilateral interconnectivity trade platform, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs, Col Hameed Ali has said that the platform could encourage smuggling.
He said that for the platform to be successful, the customs administrations of both countries must block all entry and exit points between the two nations to forestall illegal trading.

He however said that if well implemented, through this platform, false declaration of goods and some other illegal activities, experienced due to manual operation, would stop.

According to him,”This will bring an end to illicit trade and this will also , if we are not careful, be an avenue for smuggling because the system cannot be falsified.“Both the Benin and Nigeria Customs must heighten our fight against smuggling. We must block all entrances and all exits against smuggling and that will help us to maximise the use of this technology”
“We are here to launch this very important connectivity. It is very important in the sense that it is one means of ICT that will not only heighten facilitation of trade but will also solve the problem of fake documentation within our border.“For us, it is a unique development for the two brother countries. Today”s momentous achievement is a vehicle for fast processing of trade therefore, may I implore you to give us the maximum cooperation that your documentation is correct.“This system will weed out all false documentation, the system will help to identify if what you have posted is right or wrong.He also called on the trading partners to present correct documentations to avoid delays and to fast track trade at the land borders.“If you want quick processing of your document, you must ensure that your documents are true. Let us use the opportunity of this to fastrack our trade and ensure that we are doing what is right.“This will bring an end to illicit trade and this will also bring if we are not careful, be an avenue for smuggling because the system cannot be falsified.“Both the Benin and Nigeria Customs must heighten our fight against smuggling. We must block all entrances and all exits against smuggling and that will help us to maximise the use of this technology.

Also speaking at the event, Director General of Benin Customs, Sacca Boco Innousa Charles lauded the initiative, even as he lauded Webb Fontaine, the company providing technical back end support for the project.

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