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Group slams finance minister for tagging Nigeria hub of smuggled vehicles

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Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed. PHOTO: TWITTER/FINMINNIGERIA

Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has expressed disappointment over alleged comments by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that Nigeria is a haven for stolen and smuggled vehicles.

The group condemned the alleged utterance, describing it as a blow on the nation’s image, noting that the comments sent a negative message to the world.

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Recall that at the grand finale of the sensitisation seminar on the National Vehicle Registry (VERG) policy in Abuja, the minister cited a certain case study stating that 40 per cent of vehicles that found their ways into Nigeria were stolen.

The minister also said figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that 45 per cent of vehicles that entered the country yearly were smuggled vehicles.

But in a swift reaction, APFFLON, through its National President, Frank Ogunojemite, said the minister misrepresented the country and “blatantly pummeled” the country’s image.

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Ogunojemite said no representative of any country openly puts the country in such a bad light, noting that it was a betrayal and a disservice to the entire country.

He said her utterance was a serious indictment on customs and other security personnel at borders as well as the entire country as it is now seen as a haven for stolen and smuggled vehicles.

“The minister has by her unpatriotic utterance against a country that gave her a rare opportunity to serve, proving that the country’s image is not only being battered by perpetrators of various crimes but also by those de-marketing it by way of words as the minister just did recently.

“In a time of alarming challenges stemming from numerous sectors and zones, some of us are amazed that highly placed political office holders and public officials could, at one time or the other, come up with unprintable statements that are capable of plunging further, the country’s image especially at a time Nigerian citizens in the diaspora are being treated like beasts of no nation,” he lamented.

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