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APFFLON decries high Duties on medical equipment, calls for slash

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By Abiodun OBA

A maritime advocacy group, the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), has frowned at the high Customs duties on ambulances, medical and Agricultural equipment as well as fire fighting vehicles.

The association President, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite has therefore, called on President Bola Tinubu to reduce the duties considering their importance to the wellbeing of Nigerians.

APFFLON in an open letter to President Bola Tinubu, “Freight forwarders under the aegis of APFFLON as well as colleagues and stakeholders in the maritime industry, medical practitioners and a large number of Nigerians are concerned with the unfortunate reality of high duties levied on fire fighting vehicles, ambulances as well as medical and agricultural equipment at a time inflation has grossly weakened the purchasing power of the naira as people are finding it difficult to feed as individual businesses keep shutting down.

“His Excellency Sir, it is indeed quite amazing that these essential vehicles and medical equipment pay the same duties with luxury vehicles.

“It is also strange that commercial vehicles are prioritized over ambulances and agricultural equipment as commercial vehicles are required to pay lower.

“APFFLON, as a maritime advocacy group, has been observing with keen interest the numerous efforts the presidency has started putting in place, his choice of Ministers that oversee Health, Finance, Transportation as well as Marine and Blue Economy Ministry among others.

“However, to cushion the effect of the harsh economic situation, cutting down Customs duties could serve as a palliative measure for Small and Medium Sized entrepreneurs in different sectors of the economy among other interventions. Reduction of customs duties on ambulances, medical equipment and agricultural equipment could be a major accomplishment for your administration if considered and enacted.

“We therefore, urge the Presidential advisers and concerned ministries to passionately look at it again as such move has become imperative at a time like this. Reduction of Customs duties on the aforementioned items will enable hospitals and agro businesses to thrive as it will boost food production.

“As an advocate of Ease of Doing Business, our request to the Federal Government in the face of imminent review of government policies is to accommodate our line of businesses and expand opportunities for the betterment of our country which can be achieved by facilitation of trade and attraction of foreign direct investment.

“APFFLON has always been in the forefront of transparency, compliance with trade rules and accountability.

“As we continue to pursue the interest of our members in the area of operational challenges and seeking amicable resolutions to trade disputes arising from government policies and other stakeholders’ actions; we assure the Presidency and all relevant agencies of government, that we will remain partners in progress” it concluded.

© 2023, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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