19 February 2015, Lagos – The Customs Area Controller of Seme, Mr. Ndalati Mohammed, has said there is a need for collaboration between the customs administration of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin.
He also acknowledged the existing international and inter agency ties between both countries and their customs administration, which he noted as influencing the social, cultural and economic lives of the citizens.
Speaking through an interpreter, Ndalati said the laudable examples set by the Comptroller General of the NCS, Mr. Abdullahi Dikko, and the Director General of the Benin Customs at the World Customs Organisation and regional levels were worthy of emulation.
Ndalati said, “This visit is intended to cement a mutual relationship that is ongoing, not minding the geographical demarcation but to align with the cultural and economic ties that bind us together.
“With adequate intelligence gathering and sharing, we can work to foster trade within our sub region in pursuant of the Economic Community of West African Countries’ treaties and protocols. We should also insist on compliance by our various stakeholders with the rules of trade within the sub region.
“Our nationals are tapping into the benefits of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme and the Joint Committee on Commerce. This must be encouraged with efforts to detect and prevent its abuses.”
Ndalati commended the Benin Customs Administration on behalf of Dikko for the ongoing bilateral relationship in vehicle import transit process which had reportedly suppressed smuggling of vehicles and boosted revenue collection in the command.
A representative of the DG of Benin Customs, Colonel Afoudah Idowu, described Nigeria Customs as a dependable ally in the global customs community.
He assured Ndalati of their support in terms of operational issues and intelligence sharing.
Ndalati also met with the Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Lawrence Obisakin, who praised the good relationship between the two nations and the need to sustain it.
Obisakin commended the CGC for his transformation of the NCS and sought the CAC’s cooperation.