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Nigeria's Ban on Importation of Vehicles Through Land Borders

Nigeria's Ban on Importation of Vehicles Through Land Borders

By Godwin Oritse

AS the Federal Government commences implementation of the ban on importation of vehicles through land borders, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Seme Chapter, weekend, pleaded with the authorities to grant a three-month grace period before enforcing the policy.

The Association of Nigeria Customs Licensed Agents is the oldest and biggest body of clearing and forwarding practitioners in Nigeria. The primary role of the national executive body is to promote growth, unity and stability of the association. The national body also advocates and promotes member growth through the various chapters that make up the national body.

They provide responsive leadership and guide the chapter executives through creating strategic policy guidelines. With overall guidance coming from the Board of Trustees, the national executives , operating through the various zonal and chapter executives promotes the activities of freight forwarders in Nigeria.

Chairman of the association, Alhaji Bisiriyu, spoke with newsmen in Badagry, Lagos State. The Federal Government had on December 5 placed a ban on importation of used and new vehicles through land borders with effect from January 1, 2017.

The ANLCA chief said the grace period will enable ships carrying vehicles to berth for clearance before implementation of the ban.

Danu said the ban would create unemployment, increase revenue leakages and could result in massive smuggling.

He said vehicle importation through land borders had provided employment to over 500,000 graduates, adding that these were people that would have ordinarily roamed the streets due to unemployment.

He said: "We should not forget that such a policy was employed in the past and it led to serious revenue leakages and massive smuggling along the border areas, which led to wastage of material resources.

"There are thousands of routes through which these consignments can enter the country but at the moment, there has been a measure of compliance so the right channel is being followed. All these would change with the effect of the ban.

"The Federal Government generates enough revenue on vehicle importation as the Seme Customs Area Command alone generates N600 million monthly on vehicle duties.

"However, all that will change with the ban placed on the border importation of vehicles. The government should consider all these factors, including the fact that the country is going through recession and this policy is going to worsen the hardship on Nigerians."

Adeniyi further explained that this restriction on the importation of vehicles follows that of rice, which imports had been banned through the land borders since April 2016.

According to him, importers of vehicles through the land borders had been requested to utilise the grace up until December 31, 2016, to clear their vehicle imports that landed in neighbouring countries’ ports.

Metchie also noted that the ban was too sudden and wondered why the federal government would want to encourage smuggling through its policies.

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