Nigerian Senate Takes Steps To Revise Cross-Border Trade Laws

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In a significant move, the Nigerian Senate is advocating for a comprehensive reform of cross-border trade regulations. This initiative aims to streamline access to essential food items and basic necessities for border communities; sparing them the burden of traveling outside their localities to meet their needs. The Senate’s commitment to these reforms was made apparent during a recent meeting convened by the Senate Adhoc Committee on Customs and Excise at the Seme-Krake border.

The committee expressed concerns about past policies that had limited trade opportunities and instances of excessive official strictness by security personnel tasked with policy enforcement. The Senate has pledged to collaborate closely with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government to revisit and adapt these policies to better serve the needs of border communities. This underscores the Senate’s recognition that, as Nigerians and fellow human beings, border residents have the inherent right to access fundamental necessities within their immediate vicinity; irrespective of national food security policies.

Senator Francis Fadahunsi, Chair of the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise, led the delegation to Seme-Krake to investigate reported conflicts between border communities and security forces; particularly the Nigeria Customs Service. During his visit, Senator Fadahunsi urged cooperation between border community residents and security personnel; emphasizing the importance of maintaining peace for economic stability and growth.

Senator Fadahunsi also called for open dialogue on issues like rice and used vehicles; stressing the need for a harmonious relationship between Customs, other security agencies, and community stakeholders. He appealed to the Nigeria Customs Service to exercise discretion when enforcing laws and regulations.

Moreover, Senator Fadahunsi highlighted the cultural bonds shared by border communities and the need for practical, native-intelligence solutions to address concerns like rice and fuel; which often constitute household consumption rather than smuggling. He lamented the recurring conflicts between citizens and Customs operatives; emphasizing that these incidents tarnish Nigeria’s image on the international stage.

The Senate’s decision to address these issues comes after two senators from Katsina State reported on the challenges faced by residents of border towns, especially those related to the smuggling of rice, refined petroleum products, and used vehicles. This move by the Senate reflects their commitment to improving the lives of border communities and promoting peace and prosperity in the region.

 

 

 

 

 

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