Flooded Berger Under Bridge along Apapa Oshodi expressway way, Lagos last week
A frontline freight forwarder, George Okafor, has called for an urgent downward review of duty payable on imported vehicles, adding that the need is necessitated by sudden change in the exchange rate from N306 per Dollar to N326.
He also charged the 9th National Assembly to ignore calls by some practitioners in the maritime industry to review the age limit of imported vehicles adding that any attempt to review the age upwards, will turn the country to dumping ground for old rickety vehicles.
Okafor made this appeal in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week.
The Chieftain of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) also condemned the idea that the government may soon reopen the land borders, adding that it will lead to the loss of revenue to neighbouring countries.
According to him, “the problem is not the percentage, what we are saying is for the duty to come down and not the percentage. Because when the duty comes down the percentage wouldn’t be a problem. Old vehicles apart from articulated trucks are at 355% while the new ones are at 70% and that is good, but let the duty come down”
“Our people are also saying that they should open the border and if they open the border and we still pay high duty, we will still go back to square one where all the monies we realize will go back to the borders. Because, to clear vehicles there ( in Benin Republic) is cheaper than here, so what we should be talking about is how to review the duty”.
Okafor lauded the management of the Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML) for the waiver recently granted to overtime vehicles at the terminal.
“On the issue of vehicles which have been staying here for long, the management of PTML has given a waiver that they should come and claim it at a give-away price. Because when you calculate the demurrage that the vehicle must have paid for if it has stayed here for over one year, so I think it is a fair deal”, he concluded.