As agents petitions FG

By Godfrey Bivbere & Providence Ayanfeoluwa

Following the threat of a strike by a group of Customs Brokers over the increase of the National Automotive Council, NAC levy from five to 15 per cent by the Federal Government, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has warned that any strike embarked upon will not only affect the economy but importers too.

This is even as Customs Brokers under the aegis of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, have petitioned the federal government over the increase of the NAC levy.

National Public Relations Officer of NCS, Timi Bomodi, said it was reported that importers lost over N700 million from the last strike, warning agents to consider their clients in their decision as they would be left to bear the brunt.

Bomodi explained that the total cost of clearing fairly used vehicles, the increase inclusive, still remains 35 per cent; stressing that in the long run; it is the importers that will benefit from the policy of the government.

The Customs image maker pointed out that the NAC levy and duty paid on fairly used vehicles used to be 35 percent but that it was the Service that made a case for the reduction of NAC to five per cent before the recent increase.

He advised that embarking on strike should not be the first step to take when there is a dispute, warning that in the long run, it is the importers that will bear the brunt. 

Similarly, the Public Relations Officer of PTML Customs Command, Mohammed Yakubu, explained that the total duty paid for such imports last month was 35 per cent but that they woke up to see that it has been brought down to 20 per cent two weeks ago; adding that some people even cleared their vehicles from the port using the 20 per cent.

Yabuku observed that it is now obvious that the system was being worked on, as the jerking up of the levy has brought the total duty to 35 per cent that it was earlier.

NCMDLCA in the petition signed by its National President, Lucky Amiwero, stated: “We wish to bring to the attention of the Federal government of the duty and levy on Motor vehicles approved in the Finance Act of 2020, which contravenes the NAC levy of 15 per cent assessed on Motor Vehicles by NCS.

“NAC levy was not part of the 10-year implantation plan of NAIDP approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC on the 2nd of October 2013, which is expected to expire in 2023 and was never included in the process of duty assessment and levies.”

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