Ongoing rehabilitation work going on at warehouse bus stop along Apapa Oshodi expressway last week
The Controller in charge of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Muhammed Uba, has charged importers of the seized vehicles to come up with evidence of duty paid on the vehicles and take their vehicles.
The Controller, who said this recently in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, also said that some of the vehicles were seized because the importers failed to pay correct duty on them.
It will be recalled that a few weeks ago, the unit intercepted and seized some exotic cars that were smuggled into the country through unapproved routes without paying duty on the vehicles.
He maintained that if the full duty is paid and the due processes followed, the service will attach the necessary documents and notify the headquarters that duty has been collected before the vehicle will be released to the importer, even as he charged them to be courageous enough to come with papers without being scared of getting arrested.
“If you have the papers, what stops you from coming, it is not true that when you come the person will be arrested, even if you pay half, nobody will seize your vehicle unless you by passed and followed the wrong way. Those that are for short payment, if you complete the money, we will release their vehicles to them if the owners of these vehicles come and they produce papers that they have completed government money, we will release the vehicles to them.
Uba, also said that other seized goods also go through the same process before they can be released to the owners.
“Other seizure will go through other process like the court condemnation and through committee which will have customs and other people as members, these processes must be followed”, he insisted.
Speaking on why the vehicles still escape eagle eyed officers of the service at the borders, he said that officers are not enough and there are still some corrupt elements among the ones at the border posts.
“Talking on the way the vehicles manage to escape the customs, do you know how many borders and unapproved routes that we have, it is over 8, 000. How many customs officers do you have; even if you guard the place very well, there are still unscrupulous ones that will compromise even in your own house”