Senate asks customs to reverse policy on vehicles duties
• Commends UN Security Council on IDP response
• Saraki seeks affordable healthcare for Nigerians
The Senate has asked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to suspend the implementation of the proposed plan to collect duties on old and new vehicles in the country.
The resolution of the Senate followed a point of order raised by the Senate Deputy Leader, Bala Na’Allah.
Adopting the motion yesterday, the Senate said the status quo should be maintained until the Controller-General of NCS appears before the relevant committees of the Upper Legislative Chamber to explain the rationale behind the policy.
Senate President Bukola Saraki said the NCS new policy contravened the law and would therefore not stand.
“This is a very straightforward motion and our responsibility here is to ensure that we oversight agencies and ensure that they comply with the law. It is very clear that this circular does not meet the requirement of the law. The Customs committee should quickly look into this matter and come out with a way forward,” Saraki noted.
Also, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, called on his colleagues to resist the new directive by NCS.
He said the directive was illegal and lacked common sense.
In the same vein, Dino Melaye, who seconded the motion, said that if allowed to stay, NCS officers would be corrupted, while suffering Nigerians would bear the harsh brunt.
Other lawmakers, who indicated interest to speak on the issue, were not allowed by Saraki. Instead, he referred the issue to the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise.
In another development, the Upper Chamber has commended the 15-person delegation of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, led by Matthew Rycroft, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN and the Security Council’s President for the month, for deeming the crisis in the North-East worthy of a high level delegation and response.
Speaking on the development in Abuja yesterday, Senate spokesperson, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, stated that the Senate fully aligns with the stance of the UN delegation.
Abdullahi, who stated that the Senate had categorised the passage of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) Bill as pivotal in Nigeria’s efforts to restore peace and security in the region, said the Upper Chamber would continue to work with the UN Security Council as development partners.