NAGAFF backs Customs on collection of duty on vehicles

Ban on importation of vehicles will increase smuggling - Don

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has said that it is in support of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) collection of duties on vehicles that do not have genuine customs clearing paper.

National Publicity Secretary of the association, Stanley Ezenga who disclosed the association’s position in Lagos yesterday, said NAGAFF was surprised by the growing opposition to the enforcement aimed at discouraging smuggling and boosting government`s revenue.

Ezenga said non-payment of duties on imported vehicles, whether new or old, was an act of economic sabotage and advised defaulters to comply with Customs’ directive and pay their duties.

He said, “We at NAGAFF do not see anything wrong in the decision of the Customs to collect duties on imported vehicles.

“Remember these vehicles were smuggled in the first place and it is within the mandate of the Customs to collect duties on them even when such are kept in warehouses or even in people`s bedrooms.

“So there is nothing draconian or bad in this step. It is like asking people to pay their taxes. We think that is the law.

“This step is about helping the economy. I think the 60 per cent rebate and the collection deadline is humane enough. I think it is a step in the right direction,” he said.

Ezenga urged all Nigerians to support the NCS in its efforts to entrench transparency in the maritime sector and generate revenue for the country.

The Senate and the Nigeria Labour Congress had criticised Customs on the planned enforcement of  the policy, which they described as unjustifiable and capable of inflicting hardship on the people.

The NCS has however commenced implementation of the policy on Monday March 13 in spite of the criticisms.

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