Clearing agents operating at the Port and Terminal Multi Services Limited (PTML) Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday withdraw their services over what they called sudden and unexpected implementation of the new tariff on imported vehicles by the command.
The customs management had in March suspended the implementation of the new automotive policy after a peaceful protest was carried out by clearing agents against the introduction of the policy.
Subsequently, the federal government through the NCS management directed that implementation should be shifted to commence July 1 this year.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY gathered that implementation of the policy was carried out only at the PTML command.
An executive of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Ugochukwu Nnadi, confirmed the development to SHIPS& PORTS DAILY saying that agents were surprised by the development.
He said agents operating at the terminal have withdrawn their services “and there is no going back until the 35 percent duty rate is reverted.”
He said the Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Tunji Aremu, who met with the agents yesterday said the directive to commence implementation of the new vehicle tariff came from the customs headquarters in Abuja.
“In fact, one of us (Alhaji Ramin) was telling the controller to tell them at Abuja that we will not accept that but the controller said he does not have the power to do that and I see reason with him. The only thing he will tell Abuja is that we have withdrawn our services because of the implementation of the new rate and as long as they cease to revert to the old rate, we will continue with the strike,” he said.
Efforts to get the spokesman of the command, Steve Okonmah, to comment on the situation proved abortive as he could not be reached on phone as at press time.
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