Mass protest at Tin Can over implementation of new vehicle tariff

There was mass protest yesterday at the Tin can Island Port by freight forwarders under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) over the enforcement of the new national automotive policy by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

It would be recalled that agents operating at the PTML Area Command had last week protested the implementation of the 35 percent duty rate and have vowed not to return to work until the implementation is reversed.

Chapter Chairmen of both the Tin Can Island Port and PTML who led the protesting agents marched round Tin Can, National and PTML areas carrying placards with various inscriptions articulating their grievances.

According to the chairmen, the protest will continue until a concrete agreement is reached with the customs management.

According to the Chairman of the PTML chapter of ANLCA, Bola Adeniran, “Government said it is not yet time for the increase of the 35 percent duty. They said July and this is not July. Even if this is July, if they want to do anything, they have to tell us.”

Zonal Coordinator, Western Zone of ANLCA, John Ofobike, who addressed the agents appealed to them to be calm saying that their grievances should not be directed to customs which he said was only acting on directive from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

“The management of customs was only called by the government to commence implementation immediately and they can’t do anything than to implement as directed by the Federal Ministry of Finance. They are working for government who has given them instruction. We are not going to fight customs but what we are doing is for government to know we are not happy,” he said.

He said the valuation units of the various commands have met and the outcome of the meeting will be communicated to the agents soon.