AREFFN Raises Alarm, Says Customs Encouraging Smuggling of Vehicles, Job Losses

Chief Emmanuel Ohambele, Chairman of Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) at PTML Terminal

By DAPO OLAWUNI

Chairman of Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria of Nigeria (AREFFN) PTML chapter, Chief Emmanuel Ohambele has said that Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Valuation policy of the Nigeria Customs Service will encourage smuggling of vehicles through the land borders.

He also said that the policy if not well factored by the Nigerian Customs, would lead to job losses, especially among Nigerian youths.

Ohambele stated this in a chat with journalists in Lagos on Friday, saying that importers would now start using the port of neighbouring countries again.

Going down memory lane, he said that a similar policy was introduced by the Customs in 1995 and this was what amplified smuggling of goods through the land borders.
According to him, within a short space of time, the Cotonou economy was on high increase.

The AREFFN Chairman expressed worries that the revenue that supposed to be generated into the government coffers would be going to other nigbouring countries.

He urged Customs to fine-tune the VIN Policy and give it a human face, such that the provision for rebate as well as other considerations would be captured.

According to him, AREFFN is in support of VIN Valuation as a policy because it would reduce human interface in vehicle clearance, he howevever said the implementation process adopted by the customs is a sabotage of efforts of Minister of Finance.

“All of us go to the same market to buy. For instance, a camry of 2010, before it was cleared by around N700, 000 to N800,000 including the duty but today, the duty alone is N2.5 million making it more than 300 per cent increment.

“We are begging, let the Customs do the needful by following due process and the law that been on ground and follow it.
The economy is already bad

“We are feeling the pains and the economy is already painful and the Customs wants to add more pains to it. Instead of them to allievate the problems but they are trying to increase it.”

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