Rwanda: 24-Hours - Gatuna to Be Modernised
The New Times (Kigali)
5 September 2008
Posted to the web 5 September 2008
Deputy Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority, (RRA) Eugene Torero has said Gatuna border post needs more parking space to accommodate the large fleet of cargo trucks and passenger buses.
He promised to talk to Ministry of Infrastructure to modernise and expand the border post.
The commissioner also said that lighting and signage to guide travelers and businessmen are to be installed at the border.
Torero was part of the top Rwanda government officials, who launched the 24-hour service operation at Gatuna customs border post-neighbouring western Uganda.
During the September 1st inauguration ceremony, a fleet of trailers and other cargo trucks entered Rwanda and crossed to Uganda at 8 p.m.-which was not the case before, as customs offices used to close at 5 p.m.
The Deputy Commissioner General said that the move was to facilitate importers and transporters to access customs services for longer hours. He explained that they were implementing President Paul Kagame's request to extend customs working hours.
The president made the call during the just concluded Taxpayers' Day that was celebrated on July 12th at RRA offices in Kimihurura.
Torero also noted that intensive consultations with Immigration and Emigration, Rwanda Bureau of Standards, Police and Army, Magerwa and other stakeholders were carried out before the service was launched.
The Director General for Immigration and Emigration, Anaclet Kalibata said before launching the 24-hour services, there were enough preparations carried out to prepare stakeholders.
These preparations were to ensure that security to businessmen and all travelers into the country is guaranteed.
Torero reasoned that they started with Gatuna partly because they need to study how the general public responds to the service. Later it will be rolled out to other customs points.
RRA is also discussing with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) to ensure that Rusumo border post starts the 24-hour services.
RRA has recruited more customs officers at the border.
"We have reinforced 3 other officers at this border post to support the existing 6 customs officials," Torero said
These will be working day and night serving importers and other businessmen using Gatuna border post.
One driver identified as Hassan Nsengiyumva hailed RRA, saying that the 24-hours service will reduce the costs they have been incurring especially on accommodation.
Highlighting some of the advantages this facility will bring to the business community, Torero noted among others that goods will arrive in the Rwandan market faster, sold faster and this will enable importers to go back to import more, which will yield higher profits and in the long run will promote business growth.
He also observed that this trend of doing business will solve the problem of scarcity of goods on Rwandan market thus probably reducing prices of these goods, a benefit to the general public who are the consumers.
He also thanked all stakeholders who provided support to this cause and called upon for more resources where they are needed.
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