‘Fraudsters exploiting land border vehicle import ban’ - PUNCH
BY Anna Okon
A licensed customs clearing agent, Mr Khally Momodu, has said that the ban on importation of vehicles through the land border may not be effective as smuggling and other fraudulent practices have persisted.
Momodou, who spoke with our correspondent, lamented that just as genuine Customs brokers were losing business through the policy, the government was also losing revenue and innocent people interested in buying cars were being ripped off by fraudsters.
He said, “The policy is not working; there are a lot of smuggled cars in Nigeria. That is why Customs are seizing smuggled cars every day.
“To make matters worse, fraudsters have capitalised on the situation to dupe innocent car buyers. They will tell you that they can buy a car from Cotonou and clear it for you at the port.
“After paying for the car and collecting the papers, Customs will seize the car and that is when you will discover that the documents are not genuine. No car that comes through the land border can be cleared in Nigeria.”
Momodou suggested that the government should open a platform where importers could pay the duty on cars brought in through the land border to discourage the practice and boost the revenue of government.
The Nigerian Ports Authority had earlier said that government’s revenue from vehicle importation had dropped by 20 per cent.
The Managing Director, NPA, Hadiza Usman, stated this while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Harbours/Waterways.
She pointed out that the drop in revenue was the fallout of another policy, the automotive policy, which was established to encourage local production of vehicles.
The government, through the policy, had raised the duty on car importation to 70 per cent.