The President of Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Prof Benedict Oramah has said that Nigeria needs to start using technology to control smuggling rather than closing its borders.
Oramah said this while speaking at a press conference on the sideline of the ongoing Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
He said that if the Nigeria Customs Service had been using the modern technology used by other countries, smuggling would have reduced. Therefore, he urged the Customs to be proactive.
Oramah emphasized the need for Customs to use blockchain technology to fix the issues that led to the border closure. He said that technology should be used to monitor goods that come in and out of the country.
‘’The border closure has raised a number of issues around West Africa and if I heard the government well, they said there were some challenges and they wanted to resolve them. I think the borders will be reopened when the challenges of smuggling have been resolved.
“But beyond that, I believe we must begin to use technology to deal with those issues that lead to these temporary measures that led to border closure. Blockchain should be used by Customs to monitor goods that should come in and ones that shouldn’t,” Oramah said.
When asked if the border closure would affect the Africa Free Trade Agreement, the Afreximbank President said it would not, as the Nigerian borders would be opened before the agreement becomes effective by July 1, 2020.
Meanwhile, the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, has called on Nigeria to ensure that there is transparency and zero tolerance for corruption in the operations of the customs in order to stem smuggling at its borders.
About Afreximbank: Afreximbank is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra and inter African trade. The bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors and non-African investors. The bank has its headquarters in Cairo.