Nigeria Tackles Smuggling With National Vehicle Registry Policy

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Yemisi Izuora

The Federal Government has expressed desire to deal with rising cases of smuggling and to address this it is facilitating the implementation of the National Vehicle Registry Policy.

Bringing smuggling to a halt is expected to boost revenue of government.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed who said this explained that between 2015 to 2019, Nigeria imported an average of 300,000 vehicles with an average of 48 per cent increase in import annually.

She stated that an additional 45 per cent of vehicles are smuggled into the country annually, thus evading duty payment of which 40 per cent of these vehicles are stolen.

A case study, according to her, is that between October, 2018 to September, 2019 the country recorded over N1.8 Trillion worth of used vehicle importation.

According to her, it was further revealed that Nigeria was the hub of stolen vehicles as vehicle identification number of vehicles in the country were usually unregistered.

This, according to her, implies that vehicles within the shores of the country cannot be traced.

In a bid to address these challenges, she said the ministry is launching VREG, which is a national repository of vehicular information that seeks to provide a singular platform through which all relevant agencies shall reference vehicular data.

The Finance Minister stated further that this would help in ascertaining ownership and value information, capturing vehicular exchanges and utilising the VIN of all vehicles in Nigeria.

She said additional value is also accruable to the federal government, state governments and related agencies through this policy.

Ahmed assured participants of the unwavering commitment of the administration to the economic development and security of the country through deployment and implementation of such platforms.

The Minister said, “The national vehicle registry policy of the federal government will, among others, serve as a single source of validation at the point of vehicle registration while capturing and storing all vehicular information over the life cycle of every vehicle for the purpose of effective motor vehicle administration, ensuring the enforceability of penalties placed on vehicles by regulators across board and ensuring accurate monitoring, documentation and tracking of vehicular activities across the nation to enhance national security.

“In the midst of dwindling revenue orchestrated by falling oil prices, mono economy and further worsened by revenue leakages from unplugged loopholes such as customs duty payment evasion, it became imperative that the government be responsive to these issues.

“The Ministry conceived and launched the VREG automated gateway portal, as a means to leveraging technology infrastructure to maximise revenue generation for Nigeria as well as to enhance national security such as curtailing kidnapping, utilisation of vehicles in crime perpetration and terrorism.”

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