N5b goods trapped at Seme border

By AdvocateNews on 12/11/2019

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Goods worth over N5 billion are trapped at the nation’s Seme-Krake Border  in the Republic of Benin.

While the Federal Government has insisted that the border closure, in its third month, was aimed at curbing smuggling in the neighbouring countries, the exercise has begun to take its toll on genuine traders, importers, clearing agents and manufacturers.

Speaking with The Nation, a member of the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (MAN), Badagry, Lagos,   Isaac Agbato, said the disadvantages of closing the land borders were more than the advantages, calling for  a review.

Lamenting the pains and frustrations of genuine traders, Agbato urged the government to save those that have invested in legitimate business.

A clearing agent, Mr Felix Agustus, said truckloads of manufacturing goods belonging to Dangote, Cadbury and Uni-Lever have remained trapped at the border, incurring demurrage.

An exporter, Mr Sunday Francis, argued that the closure would likely erode the nation’s economic margins at the end of the financial year.

But a senior Customs officer, who craved annonimity,  said that the Federal Government was in order over its decision to close the borders. He, however, pleaded that a reprieve be given to goods of genuine traders and manufacturers that were caught in the web.

“Unless the Federal Government grants amnesty for this category of locally manufactured goods and allow them to go, they will rot at the border and some Nigerians may lose their job,” he said.

Findings revealed that since the closure, commercial activities have been grounded, resulting in poor sales and closure of shops around the border towns. Most of the purposely built vehicles by the smugglers were parked along Agbara-Badagry Expressway.

Posted 12/11/2019 07:16:53 AM


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