The Nigeria Customs Service and the Republic of Benin Customs have held an interactive meeting to strengthen further the existing bilateral trade ties and cooperation between the two countries, which will pave the way for a comprehensive mechanism to harmonize the import prohibition lists of the two countries.
Speaking at the meeting in Abuja Nigeria yesterday, the Acting Comptroller-General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi expressed the commitment of the Nigeria Customs to partner with the Republic of Benin Customs with the aid of technology to manage cross-border trade between the two nations.
Speaking further, the Ag. CGC appreciated the Benin Customs and Embassy of the country for expressing interest in collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service to enhance trade facilitation.
“The Customs administration in both countries have a very good idea and technical know-how on what it means with trade; thus, we are back with a renewed enthusiasm to foster our relationship and make impact on our trade facilitation roadmap.” the CGC said.
He added “It is our hope that the program will address the issues of trade and set a roadmap for implementation of new strategies that will enhance the economy and revenue in Nigeria and Benin Republic. Thus, our organizations need to come up with ideas that will address the issues of transit and other progressive measures.”
He said with the increasing global security challenges, the need for both customs administrations to work in synergy cannot be over-emphasized, adding that their intended mutualism will boost their relationship to improve the economy of both two nations.
In another development, the Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, commended the Nigerian Army’s efforts in combating the menace of insecurity in Nigeria, expressing the need for the two agencies to collaborate more in curbing smuggling and other border threats.
Adeniyi gave the commendation when he paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, at the Army Headquarters in Abuja.
The Ag. Comptroller-General, while congratulating the Chief of Army Staff, stressed that “your appointment as Chief of Army Staff is no longer news, but I still feel mandated to congratulate you on this well-deserved position.”
According to him, the seamless collaboration between the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian Army would provide the opportunity for the two agencies to work together and improve their expertise in the areas of fight against smuggling, counter-terrorism, intelligence and extending humanitarian support to the public.
“We need this active collaboration with the Nigerian Army to enable us to kickstart our social program of distributing relief items to the victims of insurgency at IDP Camps, and we want the Nigerian Army to provide us with security and logistics while conveying this stuff.” Ag. CGC said.
He also appreciated the long-existing relationship and formidable bond between the two agencies. “We have collaborated in several missions that succeeded in curbing smuggling, hence the need to form a formidable force to fight against enemies of the state,” he added.
“I wish to extend our sincere request to strengthen our ties to address the illegal inflow of dangerous goods and other threats to national sovereignty,” adding that the steadfast support that the Nigerian Army gives to Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service has enhanced their skills in many areas.
In response, the COAS, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja, thanked the Ag. Comptroller-General of Customs for visiting him and assured him of the Nigerian Army’s unflinching support to strengthen the security at the border areas.
According to him, “We must continue to collaborate to make sure we synergize and work closely in the areas of maintaining national security and training, and the Nigerian Army will continue to partner with Customs towards border-related issues and interests across the Federation.”
He maintained that such collaboration would continue to provide valuable opportunities for the Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service to acquire new skills and knowledge, recalling that the two Security agencies have since been good partners in progress.