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Exotic Vehicles Trapped At Borders As Bans On Imports Takes Effect

First Bank Nigeria

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has kicked off the implementation of the policy banning importation of vehicles through the land borders with many vehicles trapped at the borders.

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Seme Chapter, however, said that so many vehicles were trapped at the border posts.

The Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Seme Command, Mr Selechang Taupyen, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Badagry that the service had to comply with government’s fiscal policy.

Taupyen told NAN that officials of the command had been placed at strategic places to curb any form of smuggling of cars.

The Federal Government had on Dec. 5 placed a ban on importation of used and new vehicles through land borders with effect from Jan. 1, 2017.

“We also have a good working relationship and synergy with other security agencies who assist us in enforcing this policy because we all work for the same government.

“We advise the public to abide by the government policy and if they must purchase a car then it should come through the sea port as any vehicle that tries to come through the land border would be seized and confiscated.

“Violators of the law would face the full wrath of the law,’’ he said.

Taupyen said that the policy was meant to encourage local production of vehicles in the country.

“The public must look at the long term benefit of this policy as this would help in encouraging local production of vehicles and it would boost the economy.

The Chairman of ANLCA, Alhaji Bisiriyu Danu, said as at Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, the Customs Authorities asked the agents to stop payment of Customs duty on vehicles by 5 p.m.

Danu said the association was not aware of any circular counter to the ban.

He said that so many vehicles uncleared by Customs agents were as at this morning (Jan. 3, 2017) trapped at the ports of neighbouring countries.

A major stakeholder in Seme, Chief Sam Maduike, pleaded with the Federal Government to lift the ban.

“The policy is going to bring untold hardship to the masses as the average Nigerians cannot afford to buy a brand new car.

The National Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr Stanley Ezenga, told NAN that the association`s support was borne out of the economic benefits that the policy would bring to the nation.

Ezenga said that this “is in terms of revenue and improved capacities in local automobile manufacturing’’.

“We support the new policy to ban vehicles through the land borders in its entirety because of the obvious economic benefits to the nation.

“First, activities are at their lowest ebb at the various ports  due to diversion of cargoes to ports in neighbouring countries and we believe the policy will make our ports busy as vehicles will now have to come in through the ports.

“Also, there is the government`s Auto-Policy in place designed to encourage local capacities in the manufacturing of vehicles.

“So we believe the policy would prevent dumping and smuggling through better monitoring,’’ he told NAN. (NAN)

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