Ban On Importation Of Cars Through Land Borders To Take Effect January 1

By Ikenga Chronicles December 6, 2016

The Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has said that beginning from January 1, 2017, importation of both new and used vehicles will not be allowed through land borders.

The new prohibition order issued by the Federal Government, which is contained in a statement released on Monday by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) indicated that the ban followed a presidential directive restricting all vehicle imports to Nigeria’s sea ports only with effect from January 1, 2017.

NCS spokesman, Wale Adeniyi, therefore, advised importers of vehicles through the land borders to utilize the grace period up till December 31, 2016, to clear their vehicle imports  in ports of neighbouring countries.

While government’s moves would be considered a serious dislocation in some quarters, analysts see the new policy thrust as a strategic initiative that would drive business towards Nigerian ports and shore up government revenue through import duties.

In the face of declining oil revenues, the Buhari administration is re-channeling its efforts towards boosting internally generated revenue through taxes. It is projected that taxes will form the fulcrum of the 2017 budget and shore up government’s confidence for external borrowing.

Already, the announcement has created jitters in neighbouring Benin which has profited immensely from Nigeria’s loose border policies.

Meanwhile, NCS Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Ali on Monday boycotted the Senate’s one-day public hearing on “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act Bill 2016.”

Stakeholders at the meeting were shocked that the custom boss shunned and failed to send representatives to the public hearing, with the aim to abolish a 58-year old law which is expected to enhance the efficiency of the agency.

This act, it was learnt got Senate leadership offended as it expressed displeasure over the action, describing it as a deliberate attempt by the leadership of NCS to treat the parliament with contempt.

Despite Ali’s absence, Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs and Excise, Senator Hope Uzodinma, noted during his opening remark at the meeting, that the National Assembly was determined to amend the Customs and Excise Act to ensure the involvement “of an effective, efficient and result-oriented department or agency.”

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