Deputy PM Urges for Integrated Actions Against Contraband, Illicit Trade

Addis Ababa Integrated actions among all stakeholders needed to control illicit trade and contraband in the effort to realize the ongoing economic reforms, Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen said.

Addressing a half-day meeting that deliberated on the next precedence for integrated collaboration from the federal to the lower level in effectively controlling illicit trade and contraband, Demeke said concerted action is critical to combat such overwhelming trends.

Stating contraband as a cancer for economic growth, he said to realize the ongoing reforms; contraband has to be blocked in every corners of the country.

Apart from the massive economic damages, contraband also becomes a national threat for peace and stability of the country, Demeke underlined.

So, coherent and inclusive cooperation and communication from the federal to the lower level are needed to ensure the fight against contraband and illicit trade across the country, he underscored.

Demeke further stated that controlling the sources and receivers of contraband goods should be topped among the measure to be taken in tackling the challenge.

He stressed that if all stakeholders are collaborating each other, we can change this situation and overcome the challenges facing at the national level.

The Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the chairperson of the national taskforce which targeted to lead the recent anti-contraband and illicit trade movement, urged all the leaderships to exert utmost efforts and prioritizing actions.

Minster of Revenue, Adanech Abebe said for her part that despite impressive results have been registered during the concluded fiscal year, the country yet to attain fundamental change in the sector.

Addis Ababa Airport, Hawassa, Jigiga, Mille, and Moyale were stated among the top branches for in and out of contraband goods while garments, electronics, food and beverage, drug and cigarette mentioned as the leading smuggled products.

Last year, Ethiopia has secured 56 million USD from contraband, out of which 44.9 million from incoming goods while the remaining is secured from outgoing smuggled goods, according to a report of Custom Commission of Ethiopia.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency