Nigerian Senate backs Customs, others in war against smuggling

The Nigerian Senate has assured the Nigerian Customs Service and security agencies of its support in their onerous task of ridding Nigeria of smuggled goods.

This was disclosed after the consideration of a motion entitled ‘The impact of border closure on the Nigerian economy’, sponsored by Senator Adamu Aliero (All Progressives Congress, Kebbi Central) on Wednesday.

The Senate, in its resolutions, urged the NCS and security agencies to intensify the war against smuggling across the borders, while commending President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to temporarily close all land borders to address smuggling and its impact on the Nigerian economy.

Leading the debate, Aliero said, “Fuel smuggling has significantly reduced, thereby saving the country billions of scarce foreign exchange spent by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to import fuel into Nigeria.”

Aliero said that smuggling of textiles and vegetable oil imported from Malaysia through the land borders negatively affected local production.

“The Federal Government’s action has led to the revival of local production of vegetable oil, and increased employment generation,” the senator said.

Meanwhile, the Senate has urged the National Planning Commission to develop a policy framework that creates mechanisms for development, cooperation and aid effectiveness in the country.

The upper chamber counselled its relevant standing committees to monitor Ministries, Departments and Agencies that were beneficiaries of developmental aid and grants across Nigeria.

It further asked states’ planning commissions and Houses of Assembly to domesticate federal policies and laws to achieve aid effectiveness.

The resolutions were reached following the consideration of a motion entitled ‘The need to make development aid more effective to work for Nigerians’.

Sponsored by Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe, the motion was co-sponsored by 52 other senators.

Oloriegbe said, “Nigeria as a developing country receives aid from bilateral countries and multilateral organisations; despite not being an aid-dependent country, as the support to it is about five per cent of the national budget.”

He, however, bemoaned the failure of the NPC to effectively perform its role of ensuring the monitoring of donor assistance with national priorities in all sectors.

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