Daily Trust (Abuja)

10 February 2013

Nigeria: Monopoly At Borders Strangulating Nigerian Economy - House

Katsina — The House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise has said that monopoly at borders by exporters is killing the economy of the country, just as the committee has vowed to put a stop to the trend.

The deputy chairman of the committee, Mr Kinsley Chinda made the vow in Katsina last Thursday when he led members of the committee to Jibia border on facts finding and inspection visit.

Chinda lamented, "We have to put a stop to monopoly at our borders; we cannot allow an individual to dominate activities at the border, we must open opportunities for others to benefit.

"We must not allow the country's economy to be strangulated by individuals at the expense of millions of Nigerians."

He reaffirmed, "The issue of monopoly at this border must be broken regardless of who is behind it."

The deputy chairman expressed disappointment with COTECNA, a firm handling the scanning machine at the border, saying, "We have identified some lapses on your side and therefore instructed the firm to correct all the lapses and if it fails we will take appropriate action against the company.

"It is unfortunate that the company has not conducted medical test on the staff working at the scanning section and has not completed the asphalt overlaying of the premises of the scanning section.

"We therefore instructed the firm to feed us with information within 24 hours on how soon will it complete the asphalt overlaying project," he said.

Chinda said the committee is touring Nigerian borders to assess the seven-year service contract entered between the federal government and COTECNA company.

To the Nigerian Customs, the deputy chairman, urged the comptroller and four registered clearing agents to appear before the committee in Abuja on Friday this week.

On his part, the Comptroller of Customs in-Charge of Katsina/Kaduna command, Alhaji Yusuf Umar requested for three more scanning machines, which he said could be fixed at other borders including Kwangwalam.

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