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NIGERIA CUSTOM SERVICE TO REMOVE OBSTACLES THAT HINDER FREE TRADE

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NIGERIA CUSTOM SERVICE TO REMOVE OBSTACLES THAT HINDER FREE TRADE                                                         11-03-24

By Sadiq Aminu                                                        The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adeniyi says the service will focus on removing obstacles that militate against free trade in line with the Tinubu administration’s agenda of promoting economic prosperity.

He stated this during an interaction with members of Kongolam border community in Maiadua Local Government Area of Katsina State.

Adeniyi noted that measures taken in this regard include reduction in the number of checkpoints along the border posts and more synergy between NCS officials and traders in border markets.

“We are conscious of the concerns of most border communities, particularly with regards to the numbers of checkpoints and the closure of land borders, I want to assure you that our operations are always guided by law and we only operate on delegated powers.

“However, we have communicated the concerns and complaints by residents of border communities to Mr. President, and because he is a listening President he has directed that we should release food items that were confiscated, on the condition that they will only be sold in Nigerian markets.

“This is because we are in a period of National Emergency regarding food insufficiency, therefore we are enforcing the Export Prohibition Act which currently disallows the exportation of food items like maize, rice beams, yam, millet and sorghum.

“We also acknowledge the fact that we need to take measures to reduce the obstacles that are militating against free trade, particularly at our border markets, we will do all that it takes to promote commercial activities in these markets.

While responding to popular demand among border communities in the state for the opening of land borders which are Kongolam, Jibia and Babban Mutum, the Customs CG assured them that consultations were ongoing on the issue.

In his speech, the Katsina State Customs Area Comptroller, Muhammad Umar, said the command will continue to uphold the core objectives of the service which include suppression of smuggling, trade facilitation, revenue generation and implementation of government’s fiscal policies.

Earlier during the interaction, traders, pressure groups, residents and traditional rulers including the Emir of Daura took turns to appeal to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Customs Comptroller General to open the Kongolam border and relax some restrictions that hinder free trade along the border.

CG Adeniyi also paid a courtesy visit to former President Muhammadu Buhari and the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruk Umar, as part of strategic engagement with stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruk Umar conferred the title of ‘Makullin Hausa’, which means ‘the key of Hausa land’ on Controller Bashir Adeniyi, who Express appreciation for the gesture.

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