Vehicles dealers in the country have restated their support for the recent directive by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to collect duties for cars and other automobiles of Nigerians who may have defaulted in payment of duties.
National President of the Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria (AMDON), Prince Ajibola Adedoyin, who spoke to journalists in an interview at the weekend, described the grace period for the payment as an opportunity for all vehicle dealers and owners to pay duties on their vehicles to avoid losing them.
He said members of the association would take advantage of the duty collection window provided by the Customs from March 13 to April 14, 2017 as demanded by AMDON.
According to him, AMDON had suggested the mode of duty collection on vehicles to the Controller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali as a way of resolving the challenges being encountered by its members.
Adedoyin pointed out that car dealers who were the most affected by seizures of cars and other vehicles had established a partnership with the Customs over the years.
He added that the dealers established a rapport with the Customs to save themselves from losses, arrests and embarrassment occasioned by default in payment of vehicles duties.
“Some of our members were arrested and detained in the past by the police after they sold vehicles that were eventually seized by Customs for non payment of duties. Some of the vehicles, for which our members were arrested, belonged to Nigerians abroad and some importers who only use our sales outlets to market and sell them off.
“Months after such sales were made the buyers will come with police officers to arrest car dealers for selling vehicles without genuine papers. The buyer, with the support of the police, will then be demanding for refunds of total amount spent in buying the vehicle whose money the car dealer had remitted to the actual owners after collecting a commission of less than 5% of the sum,” he explained.
He urged those with vehicles without proof of duty payments to take advantage of the opportunity to pay up the duties. There has been mixed reactions from Nigerians over Customs directive that all vehicles without proofs of duty payment should do so between March 13 and April 14, 2017.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRS) has lauded the National Assembly over its invitation to the Comptroller-General of the Customs, Hameed Ali, to appear before it on Wednesday.
While condemning the new vehicle duties policy, the group said the invitation extended to the Customs boss would sanitise the system and ameliorate the sufferings of the people.
A statement by its Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi Alimi Sulaiman, commended members of the eight Senate, particularly Senator Dino Malaye and Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah for standing up against what it described as the illegal and anti-people policy of the service.