The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has opened a platform for vehicle importers, owners and organised vehicle dealers to pay customs duty on smuggled, under valued vehicles in the country.
This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Comptroller Muhammed Aliyu, in a chat with the media yesterday.
According to the CAC, about 150 car marts were sealed at Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki, saying the unit also seized over 5000 smuggled bags of foreign rice into the country.
Speaking further, he said the platform was not for already seized or condemned vehicles but for vehicles voluntarily brought forward by the owners for regularisationof duty payment.
He explained that the decision to open the platform was to allow Nigerians who drive smuggled or under-valued vehicles to regularise their Customs duty.
“For the category of vehicles that were detained, we have a platform now where they have the opportunity to pay their customs duty.
At the same time, we have given a window for someone who has his or her personal car and hasn’t paid duty to come forward as the Federal Government has given an opportunity to come forward willingly to pay the duty. Also, the vehicles that were bought in 2015 or 2016 whose duty was to be paid then, but wasn’t and have since been in use without customs duty paid, could now be brought forward for regularisation. We have now agreed and allowed them to come forward and make necessary duty payment.” Aliyu said the reason the service asked vehicles to be brought forward was to have accurate assessment of the vehicle, urging Nigerians to make use of the window before it closes.
“If you decide to bring documents and we work on it, you may end up paying higher but if you bring the vehicle and we see that it is aged, we can give you low value. So, the advise is that you bring the vehicle down for accessment.