A clearing and forwarding agent operating at the nation’s seaport, Mr. Toochukwu Nwaigbo last week decried the high rate of abandoned imported used vehicles at different terminals, especially at Tin Can Island port, Lagos.
Nwaigbo who noted this in a chat with Shipping Position Daily at Tin Can, also expressed disappointment with the present administration even though he acknowledged that the volume of vehicles importation has slightly increased despite the Dollar rate.
He called on the president Muhammad Buhariu-led federal administration to review the automotive policy with a view to bring the duty down to 10% from 30%, even as he blamed the high rate of abandoned vehicles at the terminals on the high duty rate.
He explained that, “the volume is increasing every day, but when you go to the ports you will see a lot of abandoned vehicles in the terminal because of the high duty paid by importers. You know this present administration; we the customs brokers are so disappointed with the administration. Because the vice president, Prof Yemi Osibanjo came to our secretariat and campaigned to us that they will reverse the 30% duty imposed on us during the last administration in 2014”
“The 30% policy started in 2014 which President Buhari assured us that they will reverse it but as I am talking to you today, it has not yet been reversed, it is still there, we still pay 30% on used vehicles; which is too high. The way forward is very simple, I have been in this business for long. First, this is what I said earlier; the duty should be reduced from 30% to 10 or 20% respectively” he said.
Nwaigbo also advised the government to grant waiver to importers of these vehicles instead of auctioning the vehicles.
“Now that the government is planning to auction, the owner of the vehicle is losing, the terminal operator will be losing because nobody will pay demurrage. They will only collect the 5% of the fee paid to the federal government to the terminal operators; you can see the extent of the damages there. I think what the government should do now to help the revenue and the importer is to give the importers concession. The owners of all these overtime vehicles should be given a sort of waiver for both the duty and demurrage” he concluded.