Multiple Police Checkpoints Along Badagry, Seme Border Could Mar Benin, Nigeria Trade Agreement – AMJON

The Nigeria police alone is responsible for mounting 30 checkpoints out of the 52 checkpoints along the Badagry and Seme border road.

This is according to recent nvestigations by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON).

Details of the investigations, made available to Newsshelve, indicate the remaining twenty other checkpoints are mounted by different government agencies including; Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Plant Quarantine Service, Nigerian Army and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), among others.

Recall that the NCS recently entered into a treaty with Customs Administration of Benin Republic to fascinate seamless trade facilitation between the two countries.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two neighbouring countries principally aims at facilitating ease of doing business between the Nigeria/Benin trade corridor

The MoU involves clearing of Nigerian bound goods in Benin and moving same across the borders without unnecessary delays by both security operatives.

Similar MoU was signed with Benin during the administration of former Customs Comptroller General, Hameed Alli, but was frustrated by restrictions and delays in movement of goods at numerous checkpoints which was not in the spirit of the terms of the agreement.

Recall that the Inspector General of Police carried out a raid on the axis only about a month ago and arrested some culpable policemen, however, the menace has since resurfaced.

The Nogeria Customs Service has only four checkpoints within the axis, Nigerian Army, two, Nigerian Immigration Service, two, Nigerian Plant Quarantine Service, two as well as the Federal Road Safety Corps.

Benin Republic had raised concerns over the development while signing the MoU nothing that the illegal road blocks would be a clog to the smooth running of the trade agreement between the two nations.

In view of the recent situation, the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) is calling on the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi to as a matter of urgency, seek the intervention of the Inspector General of Police to call his men to order for the new trade agreement to achieve its aim.

According to AMJON, the synergy is necessary to forstall possible failure of the agreement which could be blamed on the Service as many believe that it is the Customs that usually hamper trade through numerous checkpoints along the border community.

“Again Nigeria, through the NCS is making inroad into another lofty revenue trajectory that will build trade and revenue generation for both Countries.

“It is imperative to note that the greatest hindrance to this feat is the multiple Extortion points mostly mounted by the Nigeria Police, along the Nigeria- Benin- Abijan corridor.

“It behoves on the Inspector General of Police of Nigeria to muster political will to dismantle this monster by his officers and men as an albatross against the trade MoU.

“Nigeria is the only country in the world where more than eight checkpoints are mounted within a kilometer.

“Without exaggeration, between Badagry roundabout and Gbaji bridge, less than two kilometers, one will find over 16 to 20 checkpoints.

“After the Gbaji bridge, less than one kilometre, one will find between 12 to 15 checkpoints on both sides. What else can be embarrassing for a country?” AMJON queried.

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