Maritime operators under the aegis of All Ports Unified Freight Forwarders Practitioners Association has commended the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) over moves for government to reduce duty and levy payable on imported vehicles in to the country.
The group also advocated that the government put in place measures whereby equal duty can be paid on both new and used vehicles as a measure to discouragibg importation of fairly used vehicles into the country.
The Federal Government had put Customs Duty on brand new cars at 35 per cent and levy to 35 percent, making importers to pay a total of 70 percent of the cost of a new car as levy and duty.
President of the group, Prince Mike Okorie, noted that with equal duty and levy payable on used and new vehicles would discourage shippers from importing all manner of vehicles under the name “tokunbo”.
Okorie said that this policy in place, importation of used vehicles would fizzle out and Nigerians would have no option but to buy new cars .
He added that Nigeria had become a dumping ground for used vehicles and that government could only control this when it put in place policies that would discourage importation of fairly used vehicles into the country.
According to him, “Importers have deviced a means of importing accidental vehicles into Nigeria and after that, put them in place and sell. It is a bad omen that must be discouraged.
“I must commend the CG of customs on this development but we don’t have cars manufacturing companies in Nigeria.
“Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Company is the only one in Nigeria that assembles cars but how many cars can the company produce in a day?” He queried.
He however urged the Customs boss to address the issue of multiple check points by officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service on the highways, which according to him militates against trade facilitation.
He therefore called on the government to address the problem of vehicle manufacturing in Nigeria in order to stem the tide of importation of fairly used.