A freight forwarder and a member of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Mr. Segun Musa, has advised the government that duty on vehicles should not be the nation source of revenue generation.
Segun who disclosed this in an interview with Shipping Position Daily last week in Lagos also said that vehicles are necessities and not luxuries adding that revenues should be placed on luxuries and not necessities like vehicles.
He also said that when you ban importation of vehicles through land border or place high tariff on vehicles, people will smuggle it and make more money, he advised that the government should allow vehicles come in and collect minimal duty on them.
“If you place all these items on contraband, people will smuggle them in and make more money than for them to come and pay duty. So the essence of having all these contraband is for some individuals to enrich themselves. And the same thing is applicable to all these vehicles, all these vehicles are supposed to come into the country even with a minimal duty rate”
“These are not our core areas of revenue, vehicles are not our core areas of revenue. Vehicles are necessities, they are not luxury, where you place your revenue on is when you are looking at luxury. When you are looking at necessity, mobility, you don’t see it as a source of revenue.
Someone somewhere wants to make more money and that is why they are imposing high duty rate of 35% and above on vehicles”
He maintained that one of the major reasons why the government is placing ban on some goods including vehicles is because someone somewhere is benefitting from it adding that the customs are not helping Nigerians.
“The essence of placing all these items on the contraband list is because someone somewhere is benefiting from it so that he can make more profits. When you can actually get these vehicles and cleared it at a reasonable cost and you can drive it in through illegal better of course you will be happy because it was at a reasonable cost. But when you have to bring it into your own country and you have to pay high duty and despite that you will still meet officers on the road that will be telling you that your valuation and assessment is wrong, it is compromised.
These are areas where customs are not actually helping us, they are not helping the economy otherwise they cannot continue saying that these things are checks and balances”, he lamented.