The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Services, Hameed Ali says the Federal Government may lift subsisting ban on importation of vehicles through the land border.
Ali who stated this at a stakeholders’ meeting on the new initiative, expressed confidence that with a successful implementation of the bilateral electronic connectivity programme between Nigeria and Republic of Benin, the Federal Government might lift the ban on items coming through the land border.
Represented at the meeting by Assistant Comptroller, Information and Communication Technology, Benjamin Aber, the Custom Chief said the government may take the decision after the successful implementation of a new initiative by the Nigeria Customs Service and the Customs Service of the Republic of Benin to automate and network all electronic information about incoming cargoes through the border.
“Vehicles were formerly being imported through the Seme border, but suddenly it was banned because the pressure of enforcement of anti-smuggling for vehicles and claiming of lives and revenue were becoming too alarming, so the government had to restrict the importation through Nigerian ports.
“When vehicles came through the land border, we did not have a record of how the imported cars came here and fake documentation became a common phenomenon. The ban was just a control measure against the practice.
“By the time we successfully deploy this reliable, transparent and predictable programme that would assist government agencies, not only Customs, to control and regulate the importation of vehicles, the government may decide to relax such restrictions.”