35% AUTO LEVY: Clearing agents dare FG

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has warned the Federal Government against implementing the 35 percent levy on imported vehicles.

The ANLCA National President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, gave this warning during the association’s National Executive Committee (NECOM) meeting held yesterday in Lagos.

Shittu, with the mandate of his chapter lieutenants, declared that any attempt by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to implement the 35 percent levy will lead to “series of demonstration, placards carrying and eventually withdrawal of service” by the association.

“Since government said that they have suspended that levy, if for any reason just like they did before…you remember that the 35 percent was suspended and they brought it immediately, if that levy commences again, action must be taken immediately. That is the position of ANLCA,” Shittu said.

He said that although the association had submitted a position on the platform of the Maritime Advocacy Action Group (MAAG) on the automobile policy, it is presently working in collaboration with the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) to draw the attention of the government and the Nigerian masses to their positions on the automobile policy using the platforms advertorials.

He said that the auto policy is to the detriment of his members and the Nigerian economy and the association would do everything within its capacity to fight the policy.

“What affects a few of our members, affects all of us. Government cannot make a policy that will take food away from us and we keep quiet. And give room for smugglers because many vehicles are passing through unapproved routes which is affecting the economy of our members,” Shittu lamented.

The ANLCA boss charged his Zonal Coordinators and chapter executives to keep an eye on the Nigeria Customs Service and ensure that the industrial strike action is carried out the instant the implementation of the 35 percent levy is noticed.

ANLCA is out for the government as it has also threatened to shut down the ports over the dilapidated state of the port access roads.

Shittu, at the same National Executives meeting forum, said that ANLCA will no longer tolerate the neglect of the roads that hinders smooth flow of cargo in and out of the ports and increases the cost of doing business at the ports.

He lamented that the poor state of the port access roads have claimed the lives of two members of the association.

He disclosed that the association is working in collaboration with port stakeholders like the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) to shut down the ports until the government takes charge of its responsibilities as regards the port access roads.

“It is getting out of hand that all approaches to the ports where the government is making billions per day they don’t care about, not even for them to do palliatives. Many of our importers have lost their cargo due to cargo falling. There is going to be collaborative efforts of stakeholders where we will leave the ports for government to run and it is going to be as soon as it can”.