President Buhari has been hailed for banning importation of vehicle via land borders

Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN) believes that the ban on importation of vehicles through roads placed by President Muhammadu Buhari is a very good move

STOAN believes that the development if properly managed, would reduce the rate of vehicle smuggling in the country

President Muhammadu Buhari has been applauded for placing a ban on imports of vehicles through Nigeria’s land borders.
Port operators hail Buhari over vehicle import ban

Premium Times reports that the accolade came for the president from the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria which sees the ban as a way of reviving operations of Roll-On-Roll-Off (RORO) terminals in the country.

While reacting to the ban which was announced by the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) on Monday, December 5, chairperson of the group, Vicky Haastrup said in a statement on Tuesday, December 6 that the move would help RO-RO terminals which are specialised port terminals that handle all types of vehicles to regain their right of place at Nigerian ports.

She also noted that it would help to reduce the rate of smuggling of vehicles into the country, but only if well implemented.

She noted also that for the ban to work, the government would need to scrap the high import duty imposed on vehicles by former president Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2013.

She said: “We are confident of the ability of President Muhammadu Buhari to turn the economy around. The earlier ban on importation of rice, and now of vehicles, through the land borders is a welcome development.

“We are happy that the President has listened to our appeal to reverse incongruous policies inherited by his government from the former administration and which have deprived Nigerian ports of cargoes to the advantage of the ports of neighbouring countries.

“In addition to this ban through the land borders, we appeal to the President to return the import duties on vehicles to 20% from the prohibitive 70% tariff imposed by the former administration.

“The reversal to the old tariff will serve as an incentive for Nigerians to import legitimately through the seaports and make appropriate payments to government. This will boost revenue collection by the Nigeria Customs Service. It will also lead to the return of lost jobs at the affected ports.

“We also appeal to Customs officers at the border posts to support the Federal Government and the NCS leadership by ensuring that no smuggled vehicle finds its way into the country through the land borders from 1st January 2017 when the new policy is expected to come into effect.

“Since the high tariff was introduced, importers have resorted to landing their vehicles at the ports of neighbouring countries and smuggling them into Nigeria without paying appropriate duties to government. This amounted to huge revenue loss to Customs.

“The policy also led to loss of more 5,000 direct and indirect jobs at the affected port.”

The new ban says that as from January 1, 2017, bringing cars into Nigeria through land borders was outlawed and all those importers who have vehicles outside Nigeria have until midnight on December 31 to bring them into the country.