The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, a private sector advocacy group, has decried the transit duty imposed on trucks coming from Nigeria by the Benin Republic Customs, saying it is hitting businesses hard.
A statement signed by the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Muda Yusuf, said the Benin Republic Customs imposed a transit duty of an average of N9m per truck on cargoes carrying goods from Nigeria through the border to other West African nations.
It said, “This continues to make it very difficult for companies exporting or importing by road to do so. It is essentially a blockade of movement of trucks through the Benin border.
“There is this theory that it is a retaliatory action by the government of Benin Republic following the border closure by Nigeria about a year ago (which had since been relaxed).”
The CPPE noted that the action was in disregard for the Economic Community of West African States’ trade liberalisation protocol.
It said, “This development has been taking a huge toll on Nigerian businesses involved in cross-border trade within the sub-region.”
The CPPE said potential investors would like to see a more effective intervention by the Nigerian government to end the act, which it described as a “punitive and obstructionist action” by the government of Benin Republic.