Retaliation: Importers Lose Billions As Benin Stops Nigeria-Bound Trucks From Transit

LAGOS AUGUST 13TH (NEWSRANGERS)-Nigerian importers have continued to further hit  in losses running into billions of naira on their cargoes trapped at Benin Republic borders.

Daily Sun learnt that the situation forced some importers to pay additional costs to reroute the goods via Togo port to Nigeria.

Last month, the government of the Republic of Benin had stopped all Nigeria-bound trucks laden with transit goods coming from Cote D’ivoire, Ghana and Togo.

The Beninese government imposed new import duty of CFA9 million (N6.5 million) per transit truck on Nigeria-bound cargoes transiting through the country, which are exempted from all forms of duty under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols on transit goods.

Importers described the situation as retaliatory stance by the government against Nigeria’s closure of its borders in 2019, which lasted for more than one year.

They lamented that the most affected are local manufacturers in the food, beverage and tobacco sectors, stressing that if the situation is not resolved on time, it might lead to shortage of raw materials, while the already overwhelmed consumers would pay more due to higher costs of importation by sea.

Speaking with Daily Sun on the latest development, Chairman of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA), Seme border chapter, Bisiriyu Fanu, said that the issue has yet to be resolved.

“As at yesterday, I was at the border, the situation is still the same. Nothing to talk about because the position is still the same. They are even trying to plead with other countries not to take diplomatic actions against Benin Republic.

“The Controller General of Togo Customs has taken action now by saying no trucks or officer vehicles from Benin Republic should enter their country. Since ECOWAS members are still having discussion, their outcome is what we have not seen,” he added. 

He said some importers that cannot bear the brunt of waiting unlimited are rerouting and ship their goods through Togo port to Nigeria.

An importer who simply identified himself as Mr. Fred-Kura Bello, blamed Nigeria Federal Government for the current situation, saying that other countries have taken the argument to Benin Republic, Nigeria Government seems to be less concerned and lags behind in negotiating for the country.

The Sun

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Posted by on Aug 13 2021. Filed under Business, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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