THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has urged the Federal Government to reduce automotive levy on imported brand new vehicles from 35 percent to 10 percent.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), gave the advice at a news conference to mark International Customs Day (ICD) in Abuja on Monday.
The Federal Government had put customs duty on brand new cars at 35 percent and levy to 35 percent, making importers to pay a total of 70 percent of the cost of a new car as levy and duty.
Ali explained that this policy had discouraged importers as they had diverted their importations to neighbouring countries.
He said that the policy had also heightened smuggling, hence reducing the revenue the service would have generated.
According to him, the policy is put in place to encourage local automobile industries but that seems to be difficult to achieve.
“We are appealing to the government to review this policy and reduce the levy to 10 percent so that we can now have 45 percent on both levy and duty paid on brand new cars.
“Hopefully, when this is done, we will get an increase in importation, revenue and it will also reduce smuggling,’’ he said.
The World Customs Organisation (WCO) dedicates every 26th of January for the celebration and drawing the attention of the global community towards a particular aspect of customs’ functions.
The day is set aside also for customs administrations to highlight its activities, challenges, achievements, potentials for national consciousness and greater support.
Meanwhile, the customs boss said that in spite of the success recorded in the last three and half years, the service had been facing challenges of porous border lines and inadequate non-intrusive equipment.
According to him, others are hostile border community dwellers, high level of nonformal trades and low implementation of the ECOWAS protocol on transit.