The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, said on Thursday that the raid on car marts across the country would continue.
He stated this in Abuja when the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, visited him.
Ali said about 90 per cent of imported vehicles were either underpaid or totally evaded Customs duties.
The customs boss stated that the border closure was meant to force Benin Republic to obey protocols and implement Memoranda of Understanding.
He said the closure of the nation’s borders with neighbouring communities had translated into improved revenue collection for the country.
He described the closure of the border as a blessing to Nigeria as the Service recorded its highest monthly revenue of N115bn in September.
He also said there had been a remarkable drop in the influx of bandits, arms, Tramadol and other prohibited items since the closure if the border.
The Customs boss said the Federal Government would continue to deepen its efforts in preventing the country from becoming a dumping ground for substandard goods.
He lamented that while various attempts had been made to address the issue of smuggling, many of them had yielded insufficient results.
He said, “We’ve done everything in terms of deployment and redeployment and using the little technologies we have but it had not worked.
“We felt we’ve been so nice with our neighbours and yet they find it hard to adhere to the transit goods protocol.
“We gave Benin Republic 10 Toyota Hilux vehicles to help escort goods meant for Nigeria and deliver them at the border. They complied for only a week and stopped.
“We’ve signed many memoranda of understanding with them and none was followed through. We went to Benin for four days and adjusted the protocol and other agreements and yet we didn’t get the right results.”
He said despite the efforts made by the Service to reduce smuggling, the importation of items not being consumed by the neighbouring countries kept increasing with their final destination being Nigeria.
He said, “The parboiled rice that lands in Benin Republic is meant for Nigeria. All francophone nations don’t eat it. They are now the third highest importer of parboiled rice and yet they are just 12 million people.
“Worse still, 90 per cent of imported rice is expired. It’s not good for consumption and it’s worsened by the means of smuggling – using dirty boats, canoes, rickety vehicles and all that.
“We can’t continue to eat bad rice. The cost of producing our local rice is N15, 000 a bag but how can they sell cheaper?
“Again, one bag of maize is N4, 000 but one bag of fertilizer is N5, 000. So how can they break even? This closure is expected to force Benin Republic and other to obey protocols we signed.
“Until we see genuine changes, this exercise will continue.”
Oshiomhole commended the Federal Government for the closure, adding that the momentum should be sustained until neighbouring nations respect various trade protocols with Nigeria.
“Tariff policy enforcement is Customs duty and it’s a way of protecting the economy. We’re convinced that you’re doing well. We want to publicly identify with the bold steps of the Service.”
He expressed optimism that with the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari to boost employment and welfare of the people, the objective of government for closing the border would be achieved.