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400,000 vehicles smuggled into Nigeria annually- Customs CG

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… as tariff reduction on vehicle tariff takes of in February

Abiola Seun    |     

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), yesterday said 400,000 vehicles are smuggled into Nigeria from Benin Republic yearly.

Ali who made this disclosure yesterday at the announcement of the commencement of the slash in vehicle import levy on new vehicles in Abuja.

According to the CG, statistics had shown that the vehicles landed in Benin Republic before they are smuggled into Nigeria through the porus borders.

He said, “statistics available to the service showed that about 300,000 to 400,000 vehicles coming into Nigeria first stop in the Benin Republic before being smuggled into Nigeria.”

The NCS boss further stated that the service will commence implementation of tariff reduction on vehicles before the end of this month.

The NCS Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed  followed the transmission of the directive to the NCS by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

“The Act has been transmitted to us. We received the minister’s mandate this week, to start working on it, although we have to develop certain regulations and measures on how we intend to implement the law.

“We have to change our codes to fit into the new law. You know that commercial vehicles levy is the only levy that has been reduced from 35 per cent to five per cent.

“So we have to change the codes to fit into the new law and we hope we’ll finish that in two days and the minister will have to look at it and agree that yes that is what we should do.

“I hope not too long from now, by next week or next two weeks, this law will come into effect. We will circulate it to our own commands to begin to operate.”

The customs boss noted that the new law would help the country to have vehicles meant for transportation with reduced duty for the benefit of Nigerians.  He noted that the high duty paid had also resulted to increased smuggling of vehicles into the country.

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