By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Lagos State Government through one of it’s agencies under the Ministry of Transportation; Motor Vehicle Administration Agency (MVAA) has slammed a fresh N4,600 charge on all imported vehicles coming out of Lagos ports known as Temporary Vehicle Tag (TVT)
DAILY TREND gathered exclusively that the new charges is already creating tension in the business environment at the Tin Can Island Port, even as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has reportedly linked TVT payment to Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) and directed terminal operators not to release any vehicle without evidence of payment.
Findings by our correspondent revealed that after payment of N4,600, the clearing agents would be issued a sticker that would be placed on the vehicle. This allows the vehicle to be driven within Lagos for the period of one month.
Reacting to the development, clearing agents at the port lamented that they were being overtaxed by the Lagos Government because already, Wharf Landing Fees are being collected on all cargoes, including vehicles.
Moreso, the TVT collecting office is domiciled at the Lagos State Wharf Landing Collecting Authority in Apapa GRA, Lagos.
In his reaction to the brewing controversy, Chairman of Lagos State Wharf Landing Collection Agency, Chief Gboyega Salvador Adebayo during an exclusive chat with DAILY TREND explained that the TVT collection is different from Wharf Landing Fees.
He said the TVT is strictly for security purposes, especially in the face of importation of arms and ammunition, and people using imported vehicles without numbers to commit crimes.
“The money is being collected by Motor Vehicle Agency, but because of polarity in the port environment and harbour area, we decided that you cannot have two agencies running after the same people in order to pay different levies.
“The Wharf Landing Fees is based on goods brought into the country through the Wharf. So, what we decided was that, for areas where Motor Vehicle Agency are operating, they are basically security issues.
“Vehicles are imported into this country without any number to identify them, when they leave the port premises, they could be used for criminal activities or they could even have an accident killing people, how do you identify the vehicles that did it?
“It was based on such security issues, because people are using vehicles to bring in guns and all kinds of ammunition, so we decided to start giving the identification tags and temporary numbers. Before these vehicles leave the port, they must have a temporary number, and that is why Motor Vehicle Agency is now present at the port.
“So, we gave the agency our own tag, as importers pay for their temporary numbers, let them pay for Wharf Landing, This s to simplify the process.
“Wharf landing fee applies to all cargoes except those imported by the government and the military. Only the petrol is still being exempted because it is being subsidized.
“The Wharf Landing is being operated under a law. The money collected is not for Lagos State Government, it is to assist the operators. The Lagos government is inconveniencing itself to do this, the money is being collected to eradicate area boys harassing truck drivers on Lagos roads, the money is shared among Local Government Areas” he said
Chief Salvador also called on the port operators and clearing agents to assist the authority in order not to return back to the chaos that used to be on the roads.
However in his reaction, Youth Leader of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Island Port, Comrade Remilekun Sikiru lamented that the Lagos State Government first came to the port in December 2022 and claimed that the TVT would replace the Wharf Landing Fees.
“They came around last year around December, they claim this will replace the Wharf landing payment, I called and spoke with the coordinator whose phone was on the flyer, he told me with the sticker that cost about 4,600 the vehicle can be driven within Lagos for the period of one month
“I told him this sticker should be directed to the dealers who take their vehicles around before they are sold,
“The truth remains that they want to take advantage of the fact that lots of vehicles come out of the port and want to compel the clearing agents to make this payment, furthermore they will begin operation with task force to enforce payment for the sticker” he said
He added that “They have been forcing terminals to include TVT receipt and confirmation to part of the documents for TDO (Terminal Delivery Order)