The Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, announced on Tuesday that Nigerian importers will soon have the opportunity to clear their goods at the ports in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
This announcement came at the conclusion of a two-day working visit by the director-general and senior officials of the Benin Republic Customs Service in Abuja.
During this meeting, customs personnel from both countries entered into various agreements to bolster trade relations between Nigeria and Benin Republic and combat smuggling.
In response to a question, Adewale stated, “We are establishing trust in the system provided by the Republic of Benin. Our importers are using their ports, and vice versa.
This agreement means that Nigerian importers interested in using the ports in Cotonou can now have their goods cleared there, with the opportunity to pay the necessary duties on goods subject to such fees at the ports of arrival.
This will allow them to freely enter Nigeria.”
Addressing concerns about vehicle smuggling, he explained, “It’s not limited to vehicles; any goods arriving at Cotonou ports can have their duties assessed and paid before entering Nigerian territory, much like when goods arrive through Lagos or Port Harcourt.
We have agreed in principle to operationalize this, and we will work on establishing timelines to achieve this milestone.”
Adewale emphasized that this partnership between both nations would enhance customs administration, facilitate trade, and promote regional cooperation within the West African region.