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Customs opens window for Nigerians to pay duty on used vehicles

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PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

For Nigerians to move their imported vehicles around the country without any hindrance, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has called for voluntary payment of duty on them.

The Service claimed that many vehicle owners in Nigeria are driving smuggled or under-valued vehicles, which its officers would not hesitate to clamp down, after the expiration of the grace period.

The Customs Area Controller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Compt. Muhammed Aliyu, who disclosed this in a chart with newsmen yesterday, said the NCS has opened a platform for vehicle importers, owners, and organised vehicle dealers to pay Customs duty on smuggled vehicles, although he gave no timeline.

Assuring car owners that such vehicles would not be seized when brought to their compound for assessment, he said they would rather enjoy some benefits.

“We have given a window for someone who has his or her personal car and hasn’t paid duty to come forward, as the Federal Government has given an opportunity to come forward willingly to pay the duty.

“But the issue is that the owners have to come forward with the vehicles because it is more advantageous. Also, the vehicles whose duty are to be paid may have been bought in 2015 or 2016, and have been using it without Customs duty, but now we have agreed and allowed them to come and make necessary duty payment.”

Aliyu urged Nigerians to make use of the window before it closes, saying: “If you decide to bring documents and we work on it, you may end up paying higher, but if you bring the vehicle and we see that it is aged, we can give you low value. So, the advice is that you bring the vehicle down for assessment. The opportunity is given to Nigerians through the new platform to regularise their papers and go back with it.

“I will advise that immediately you get the assessment, it is paid quickly because no timeline or duration on when it will end and it is an opportunity all over the nation. I want to tell Nigerians that the platform isn’t a scam, but a platform put in place by the Service for Nigerians to move their vehicles around the country without any hindrance.”

On the clampdown on car dealers, he said about 150 car marts were sealed in Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Lekki, adding that over 5,000 bags of foreign rice smuggled into the country were also seized.


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