The senate has asked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to suspend its policy on seizing vehicles on which duty has not been paid.
Customs had given owners of such vehicles a deadline of April 12 for payment, threatening to prosecute those who do not comply with its directive.
“The comptroller-general of customs, Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) has approved a grace period of one month, between Monday 13th March to Wednesday 12th April 2017 for owners of all vehicles within the country whose customs duty has not been paid to do so,” Joseph Attah, NCS’ spokesman, had said this in a statement.
“The CGC therefore calls on all persons in possession of such vehicles to take advantage of the grace period to pay appropriate duties on them, as there will be an aggressive anti-smuggling operation to seize as well as prosecute owners of such smuggled vehicles after the deadline of Wednesday 12th April, 2017.”
But in a motion on Tuesday, Bala Na’Allah, deputy senate leader, urged the upper legislative chamber to look into to the planned action.
He prayed the senate to direct customs to “stop all actions” until it appeared before its committee on customs.
The senate then directed the service to suspend its planned action.
Speaking on the motion earlier, Dino Melaye, a senator from Kogi west, had said it was impossible to import and to clear a vehicle without the “knowledge and collaboration” of customs officer.
“We should not pay for the incompetence of the Nigeria customs,” he said.
After debating the issue, the upper legislative chamber passed a resolution that the policy be suspended, and summoned the comptroller-general of customs for adequate explanation.
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