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Nigeria receives over 1.8tr smuggled vehicles, moves to address situation

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Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed. Photo: FACEBOOK/FEDERALMINISTRYOFFINANCE

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, yesterday, said over N1.8 trillion smuggled vehicles were received in Nigeria.

Opening a seminar on Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in Kano, she clarified that the figure was recorded between October 2018 and September 2019.

Represented by a director in the ministry, Hajia Fatima Hayatu, the minister said statistics also showed that the most populous black nation imported 400,000 automobiles between 2015 and 2020.

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According to her, 40 per cent of the imported vehicles were smuggled into the country, while 22 per cent, which mostly evading duty, were stolen.

Ahmed, who regretted that Nigeria was fast becoming the hub of stolen vehicles due to lack of proper documentation, added that government had perfected plans to address the situation.

The minister said that in a bid to address the menace, Federal Government introduced the National Vehicle Registry (VREG) to provide a single database for the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) scheme.

She explained that government was eager to take advantage of the strategic plan to maximise revenue generation and curb security threats arising from vehicle theft.

She said the workshop was to sensitise stakeholders in vehicle registration and revenue-generating agencies on the workability of the new platform.

Her words: “The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, launched the VREG, which is a national repository of vehicular information that seem to provide a single platform through which all relevant agencies shall reference vehicular data with a view to ascertaining ownership and value information.

“The data process will also enable capturing of vehicular exchanges and utilising of VIN in Nigeria. Additional value is also accruable to the Federal Government, state governments and related agencies via this policy.

“The VREG will serve as single source of validation at the point of vehicle registration, while capturing and storing all information over the life cycle of the vehicle.”

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