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Friday, 9 December 2016

House of Reps: Suspend The Ban On Vehicle Importation

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The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Federal Government to suspend its new policy of banning the importation of vehicles through land borders.

The lawmakers specifically advised President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene by urgently directing the Nigeria Customs Service to reverse the policy.

The policy is expected to come into effect from January 1, 2017.

Instead of enforcing a ban, the House called on the government to ensure that security agencies manned the land borders diligently to enforce the payment of import duties and ensure the remittance of same to the treasury.

“The House further urges the government to install border security and surveillance equipment for effective monitoring to address the recurring menace of smuggling and ensure a maximum revenue generation on all lawfully-imported goods,” the resolution stated.

The decision came after an APC lawmaker from Sokoto, Abdullahi Salame, informed members that the policy could only worsen the “hunger and insecurity” in the land, and cause job losses.

Leading the debate on the motion, Salame said corruption at the borders would increase as Customs personnel would seize the opportunity to divert revenue into private pockets.

“The government will indeed lose revenue and Customs personnel will connive with smugglers to divert revenue. Car dealers will lose their business and this also implies that millions of Nigerians will lose their means of livelihood,” he stated.

According to Salame, prices of vehicles will hit the rooftops in Nigeria, making fairly-used cars out of the reach of ordinary citizens.

“A similar exercise in the case of importation of rice has brought untold hardship on Nigerians as a bag of rice now sells for between N20,000 and N23,000 as against N8,000 a few months ago."

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