The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has called on its members to comply strictly with the guidelines on vehicle importation and clearance, especially now that the country is going into Yuletide season.
The PTML chapter chairman of the association; Mr Jude Okafor, who made this call last week in a chat with Shipping Position Daily also said that it was only when you failed to comply that you can be extorted.
He fingered excess duty payable on imported vehicles as one of the challenges practitioners in the sector are facing even as he said that vehicles coming in through the seaports have increased due to the ban on importation of vehicles through land borders.
He said that, “normally, shipping to Nigeria is very expensive, I don’t want to say there is no extortion but all things being equal, that is why we are there to ensure that the rate of extortion is very low. But they can only extort you when you fail to comply with the guidelines of importation that you will start playing cards that is why we tell our people. Those who are shouting about extortion are the people who do not want to comply. We tell our people to comply and when you comply and somebody wants to extort you, let us know and we will take it up from there. I will say that vehicle importation in Nigeria improved this year, more especially since the closure of importation through the land borders.
Because before now, most people like bringing in their vehicles through the land borders because of what they do there. But now almost everybody is patronizing the seaports but we are still having problems”.
“One of the problems is excess duty on vehicles, the duty is still on the high side, and I think the government should try to do something to come down a bit. If you go to the neighbouring countries duties there are very low. That is why some Nigerians use that place to bring in their costly vehicles, even up till now vehicles are still coming in from the borders. When you compare the duty you pay here, you can decided to go and smuggle, I think the government should look into that and see what they can do”, he said.