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Custom Boss, Hameed Ali bows to Senate’s demands

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Following the outcry from Nigerians and the Senate, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has suspended the controversial‎ motor duty payment.

Joseph Attah, Customs Public Relations Officer, in a statement on Wednesday said the decision was taken after the leadership of the National Assembly and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) met with a view to resolving the impasse.

“They both agreed that the proposed motor duty payment, though in line with the provision of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C.45, LFN 2004 should be put on hold while the Senate Committee on Customs & Excise interfaces with the NCS for further discussions.

“While payment of duty on vehicles or indeed any dutiable imported item remains a civic responsibility of every patriotic Nigerian, NCS Management has directed that the exercise be put on hold while expressing readiness to engage the Senate Committee on further discussions to bring them on board to understand the importance of the exercise to national security and economy”, he said.

Customs had given a grace period from March to Wednesday 12th April 2017 – for owners of all vehicles whose customs duty has not been paid.

The agency advised all motor dealers and private owners of such vehicles to visit the nearest Customs Zonal Office to pay the appropriate Customs Duty on them.

It listed the Four Zonal Offices of the Nigeria Customs Service as: Zone A Headquarters, No. 1 Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos; Zone B Headquarters, Kabala Doki, Kaduna; Zone C Headquarters, Nigeria Ports Authority, Port Harcourt and Zone D Headquarters, Yelwa Tudu Road, Bauchi State.

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Customs advised “all persons in possession of such vehicles should take advantage of the grace period to pay appropriate duties on them, as there will be an aggressive anti-smuggling operation to seize as well as prosecute owners of such smuggled vehicles after the deadline of Wednesday 12th April, 2017.

“For the avoidance of doubt, all private car owners who are not sure of the authenticity of their vehicles customs documents can also approach the Zonal Offices to verify with a view to complying with the provision of the law.”

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