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Car dealers deplore clampdown on premises, say it’s counterproductive

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Agency justifies raid, plans review
The aggrieved car dealers, who had their marts raided by the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), have bemoaned the action, which they described as counterproductive.

The NCS had at the weekend sealed the car marts of dealers across Lagos State including Elizade Motors-Toyota Nigeria Limited and others.

The dealers, who spoke with journalists yesterday, said the Customs’ action was an attempt to harass and label them as car smugglers, adding that they have lost so much by the action.But the NCS insisted that it has the right to raid the car marts in search of smuggled vehicles, noting that the management is reviewing the matter and appropriate action would be determined and communicated before weekend.

Spokesperson, NCS, Joseph Attah, told The Guardian yesterday that the action was justified and in line with the laws guiding their operations.Chairman, Globe Motors, Willie Anumodu, who expressed shock about the clampdown, said they would meet the authorities tomorrow to determine the cause of the action.

General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Coscharis Group, Abiona Babarinde, said the company was not involved in smuggling of vehicles.He said: “Coscharis represents international companies of repute and the action of Customs will run counterproductive to government’s foreign investment drive.”

Also, a car dealer in Ikeja, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We are not smugglers. We add to the economy. We also employ people indirectly. Clearing agents, mechanics and licensing agents all depend on us for survival.”

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Joseph AttahNCS
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