Nigerian Importers Set To Clear Goods From Cotonou Ports As Customs Strengthen Trade Ties

In a major development for trade relations between Nigeria and Benin Republic, the acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, has announced that Nigerian importers will soon have the opportunity to clear their goods from the ports in Cotonou, Benin Republic. 

This announcement comes after a successful two-day working visit by senior officials of the customs service from both nations.

During the meeting, customs personnel from Nigeria and Benin Republic reached various agreements aimed at boosting trade cooperation and curbing smuggling. 

Adewale Adeniyi explained, “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.”

Under this agreement, Nigerian importers will be able to clear their goods in Cotonou ports, with the opportunity to pay duties on eligible items.

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

Addressing concerns about vehicle smuggling, he emphasized that this arrangement would apply to all goods arriving in Cotonou ports, making the process similar to goods arriving through Lagos or Port Harcourt.

 The timeline for implementing these changes will be established in the near future.

This partnership between Nigeria and Benin Republic is expected to enhance customs administration, facilitate trade, and promote regional cooperation within the West African region. Adeniyi concluded,

“The occasion we celebrate today marks a significant milestone in our journey to strengthen collaboration, eliminate barriers, and promote legitimate trade within the West African region.”

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