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Ali, Customs boss

Confusion at land borders as vehicle importers scramble Seme, Idiroko borders

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Pandemonium caused by vehicle importers that have engulfed all Nigerian borders including Seme, Owode and Idiroko may continue today as officers of Nigeria Customs battle unprecedented number of car imports via land border following the deadline of December 31, 2016 which is now in force.

Otherwise, activities at the said land borders are now at fever pitch as vehicle importers and auto dealers are rushing to clear their vehicles (new and used) from the borders in order to beat federal government’s December 31, 2016 deadline for the restriction of importation vehicles to the nation’s seaports.

Business Hilights recalls that the federal government had earlier in the month announced that from January 1, 2017, there will be no more importation of vehicles through the land borders.

In a terse press statement issued by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Service had indicated, in a press statement, that the ban is sequel to a presidential directive.

Both importers and clearing agents and auto dealers who relocated to the borders since two weeks ago are seen processing papers and fastening documentations so as to beat the deadline.

Research has shown that majority of car imports via land borders came from neighbouring Benin Republic before the deadline.

Top official of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Elder Timothy Ayokunle who spoke with our correspondent said Customs actually assisted agents in fastening documentation since December.

A Customs officer who spoke to Business Hilights on grounds of anonymity said “The presidential directive is final and from our end, we are doing everything possible to halt all car import”.

Besises, the chairman, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Seme Border Chapter, Chief Ekene Ajunwa, said there was a rush by importers to clear their vehicles at Seme and expressed possible loss of jobs by his members who feed fat on clearing vehicles at the border for years.


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