Customs forecloses granting fresh window for motor deal

Matthew Otoijagha

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has foreclosed granting of fresh window allowing members of Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria (AMDON) to pay duty on the vehicles in their parks across the country.

Customs Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joseph Attah, who disclosed this at the weekend, said it will not be in the interest of the nation for the service to grant amnesty to goods smuggled into the country.

According to him, “But Customs exists and ensures that the fiscal policies of government are implemented. It is not in the interest of the nation to allow people smuggle things in and say grant us amnesty. Otherwise, there will be amnesty about everything in this country.”

The association had in November last year appealed to the NCS to grant its members another opportunity to submit the vehicles in their shops for duty payment instead of running the risk of seizure by Customs operatives.

Its National President, Prince Ajibola Adedoyin, had said the six months ultimatum that the service granted vehicles dealers to pay duties on imported vehicles already in their shops was too short.

He insisted that the short notice had culminated in the inability of the dealers to meet up with the payment and later resulted in the endless regular onslaught on their businesses and seizures of 400 vehicles worth N1.7billion. The association urged the Federal Government to reduce the duty pay value on vehicles from 35 to 20 per cent.

Adedoyin revealed plans by the association to write the Presidency to request for an appointment with President Muhammad Buhari on the matter. But the NCS spokesman said the service would not allow the dealers a fresh window to pay duty for the cars already imported into their parks.

“Unfortunately we are not policy makers. We only implement the policy that is fixed by the government. It is not the duty of Customs to either reduce or add to the duty rates. So, whatever the government fixes will be used, ”Attah said.

He also said, “I don’t know about the six weeks ultimatum. If you are referring to the window that was given and not taken advantage of, you will recall it was misunderstood and as a responsive and responsible organization we had to put it on hold.”

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