The African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to reduce the 35 per cent customs duties on ambulances and other essential medical equipments.
In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, dated November 18, 2020, and signed by APFFLON National President, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, the freight forwarders said that slashing the 35 per cent customs duty would boost health services in the country amid the COVID-I9 pandemic
APFFLON alleged that, while ambulances are levied 35 per cent, some luxurious vehicles are being made to pay a meagre 10 per cent levy at the port.
According to him, it is unfortunate that medical equipment in Nigeria keeps attracting high duty levies, even though other countries around the world are relaxing levies on such essential items due to COVID-l9.
“Your Excellency Sir, we find it really unfortunate that these essential vehicles and medical equipment are subjected to 35 per cent duties, while luxury vehicles also pay 35 per cent duties. It is also strange that some special vehicles are prioritised over health services as these vehicles with H.S CODE 8705900 pay 10 per cent customs duties,” he added.
He acknowledged the numerous efforts the presidency has put in place via the Presidential Taskforce for COVID-l9, Ministry of Health, Finance and Transportation Ministries among others.
He said some of these efforts includes; palliatives for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), aviation sector, transporters among other interventions. He however argued that the removal of the 35 per cent customs duties on ambulances and other medical equipment could be a major accomplishment for the country in the post-COVlD-l9 era.