Nigerian-British chamber advocates for strict border control to check smuggling

The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has said strong regulations on border control will prevent smuggling and importation of unauthorised goods into the country.

NBCC President, Dapo Adelegan, who stated this at the chamber’s breakfast meeting in Lagos, said this is necessary to prevent the local industries from total collapse.

According to Adelegan, who was represented by the deputy president, Akin Olawore, the need for strong regulations has become necessary, given that a lot of goods have been confiscated by the Nigeria Customs Service in recent times.

He said the government needs a strong policy direction to prevent smugglers from turning Nigeria into a dumping ground.

Africa’s largest economy is seen as a dumping ground for foreign products, especially those from Asia. This trend persisted for several decades as oil overshadowed the country’s productive capacity and the real sector.

But some analysts project that smuggling will reduce in the long term, with the ongoing ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET).

Speaking on a topic, ‘Beyond Oil & Gas: Emerging Business Opportunities in Nigeria’, Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo identified opportunities ranging from ICT, mining, construction, property/services, transport, food, energy and education, among others.

Okonkwo, who was the guest speaker at the event, said the mining industry can create employment opportunities through raw and processed mineral for export, private sector mining companies, equipment leasing and maintenance as well as technical alliance. According to him, ICT has the capacity to create more business opportunities such as internet service, e-commerce, internet backbone, co-location and GSM cellular, while food production could provide job opportunities through processed food export, agro-allied and food processing,quick service, grocery retail, and fast food.

Okonkwo warned that these opportunities should not be taken in isolation, saying there is a need to develop appropriate regulations, provide fitting infrastructure, create a complementary finance system, and provide an enabling environment that could be exploited for economic prosperity.

Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ray Kyles expressed the readiness of the British government to support Nigeria in its economic transformation drive. He said that energy and infrastructural development would be key to most British investors coming to invest in the country.

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