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Nigeria should use technology to control smuggling, not border closure – AFREXIM boss

Nigeria should use technology to control smuggling instead of closing its land borders, the President of Africa Export-Import Bank (AFREXIM), Prof Benedict Oramah, has said.

Prof. Oramah who spoke on Monday at a press conference on the sideline of the ongoing Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, also said the Nigeria Customs Service should be more proactive and do what Customs in other economies do.

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He said if the Customs had been using modern technology used by other countries, smuggling would have been reduced to the barest minimum.

He said: ‘’The border closure has raised a number of issues around West Africa and if I heard the government well, they said there were some challenges and they wanted to resolve them.

“I think the borders will be reopened when the challenges of smuggling have been resolved.

“…But beyond that, I believe we must begin to use technology to deal with those issues that lead to these temporary measures that led to border closure.

“Blockchain should be used by Customs to monitor goods that should come in and ones that shouldn’t,” he noted.

He expressed optimism that issue of border closure would not affect the Africa Free Trade Agreement as Nigerian border would have been opened before the agreement becomes effective by July 1, 2020.

But the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said Nigeria should ensure that there are transparency and zero corruption in Customs to stem smuggling at its borders.

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