Tinubu approves reopening of Seme border for vehicle importation
President Bola Tinubu has given approval for the reopening of the Seme border, allowing the importation of vehicles once again.
This decision comes after receiving complaints from freight forwarders operating at the Seme border.
The announcement was made by Ibrahim Musa, the Director of Road Transport in the Ministry of Transportation, during an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meeting between Nigerian and Benin officials.
The Seme-Krake Joint Border Post, located between Nigeria and Benin, has been a significant trade route for both countries.
However, the importation of vehicles through this border was banned, resulting in reduced revenue for the Customs Area Controller of Seme Border Command, Dera Nnadi.
The former Minister of Transportation had promised to address the concerns of stakeholders and forward their requests to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for consideration.
During the ECOWAS Monitoring Team’s visit to the Seme-Krake Joint Border Post, Ibrahim Musa highlighted the freight forwarders’ plea for the reactivation of the border.
The former Minister of State for Transportation had acknowledged this plea and instructed the preparation of a memo requesting the reopening of the border for the free movement of goods and services. The memo was subsequently considered and sent to the government, and it is now reported that the new government has adopted all the requests.
Dera Nnadi, the Customs Area Controller of Seme Border Command, expressed concern over the decline in revenue following the ban on vehicle imports through the land borders.
He stated that the former Minister of Transportation had assured the stakeholders that their requests would be presented to the FEC.
According to Nnadi, the Ministry has informed them that the memo has been written and adopted by the FEC. It has now been passed on to the new government, indicating that all the requests have been accepted.
The decision to reopen the Seme border for vehicle importation carries several implications for trade and revenue generation, analysts say.
Firstly, it will lead to increased business opportunities for freight forwarders and traders, as they can once again access the market through this route. This development is likely to boost economic activities in the region, benefiting both Nigeria and Benin.
Furthermore, the reopening of the border will contribute to the growth of the automotive industry, allowing for the importation of vehicles and stimulating the local automobile market. It will provide consumers with more choices and potentially drive down prices through increased competition.
In terms of revenue generation, the Customs Area Controller expects a positive impact. The resumption of vehicle imports through the Seme border will likely result in an upsurge in customs duties and taxes collected, which will directly contribute to government revenue. This additional income can be allocated to various developmental projects and initiatives, further bolstering the country’s economy.
President Bola Tinubu’s approval for the reopening of the Seme border for vehicle importation is a significant decision that will have far-reaching implications for trade and revenue generation.
The reactivation of this crucial trade route between Nigeria and Benin will boost economic activities, create business opportunities, and stimulate the automotive industry.
Moreover, it is expected to lead to increased customs duties and taxes, providing a much-needed boost to government revenue. This development marks a positive step towards strengthening regional trade and fostering economic growth in the West African subregion.
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