By DAPO OLAWUNI
There are fresh indications that the imposition of a controversial 15% CET Levy on all imported vehicles by the Nigeria Customs Service is now threatening jobs in Nigeria, especially e-hailing cab drivers popularly known as Uber.
Acting National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Dr Kayode Farinto have the indication recently, saying that many youths who use Uber as means of livelihood would no longer be able to afford these vehicles due to the customs policy which slams 15% levy on vehicles.
In April 2022, the customs had come forward with the 15% National Automotive Council (NAC) Levy. However, following condemnation from freight forwarders and threats of a mass port protest, the customs later changed the nomenclature to 15% Common External Tariff (CET) Levy.
DAILY TREND can report authoritatively that The 15% levy is still generating complaints among freight forwarders, especially those practicing at Tin Can Island Port and PTML Terminals which are the two major Roll on-Roll- Off vehicle ports.
While speaking recently, the ANLCA President, Dr Farinto stated that “We are telling the federal government that it is wrong to implement 15% levy on used vehicles.
“You and I know that we are in an electioneering year and the federal government is looking for money by all means, but we want to tell them that imposing this levy on used vehicles is going to cause a lot of problems.
“Our youths that are buying Toyota Corolla and Toyota Matrix for Uber business cannot afford it again because there is increase in the price of these vehicles, and we have seen the spiral effect in the market” he said
The ANLCA top gun however advised members to remain calm as the association is already interfacing with the government in resolving the issue.
“We are not unaware that some people are calling for a strike action, that is not the solution. The strike action we had recently on customs imposition of VIN Valuation, it was Nigerians and final consumers that suffered the over N700million storage and demurrage charges. What are doing now is to settle the 15% Levy through dialogue
“We have involved the CRFFN, we have involved the National Assembly, there was a motion that would have been moved for it’s suspension, but because the Federal Government is very powerful, the motion was suspended.
“I want to assure you that we are following this issue seriously think of ameliorating the suffering of the masses, they should reduce this 15% levy to 5% if it cannot be scrapped” he stated
As a Uber Partner, a driver would need a fuel-efficient car; Such as, Hyundai Accent, Toyota Corolla or Kia Rio. These are some of the best Uber X cars because of their fuel efficiency.
However, cost of importation and clearance of these model of vehicles have increased, even as customs have recently announced a new age limit of 12-years for imported vehicles.