Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Seme chapter, yesterday, raised the alarm on the dangers of implementing the Federal Government’s policy banning used and new vehicles’ importation through the nation’s land borders, saying it would ignite crisis along the border communities.
In a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and read to newsmen in Lagos, Chairman of the group, Bisiriyu Lasis Fanu, said that the policy will send over 500,000 graduates into the labour market and trigger a series of insurgency activities, revenue leakage and massive smuggling.
In view of the potential backlashes, the association called for a reversal of the policy in line with the huge revenues the importation of vehicles generate to the economy. He said that Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generates 70 per cent of its monthly revenue through vehicle importation, saying that the axis can generate enough revenue to pay some of the nation’s debts.
Fanu wondered why the Federal Government should ban importation of vehicles through a border whose revenue generation could defray the N30 billion loan it is seeking to finance the 2017 budget. He noted that once the policy is enforced, all unapproved access routes will be activated by smugglers and smuggling will increase tremendously.
“At present, there is a measure of compliance that one can go to the designated Customs vehicle seat or revenue office of the NCS at the border areas and pay his or her duties on vehicles. But once this policy is enforced, all unapproved access routes will be activated by smugglers and smuggling will increase tremendously.
“The Federal Government is unwittingly trying to ignite another form of crisis along the border areas in South West, North Central and North West, where smugglers will do everything to carry out their dastardly act of terrorism.
“Sabotaging the economy as we are currently experiencing in the South South with the militants blowing up oil installations and Boko Haram insurgency activities in the North East, we may be having too many troubles on our hands to contend with at the same time,” Fanu stated.
The ANLCA chief recalled that despite a total ban on rice, the commodity still finds its way into the country. So, if the policy is not reversed, the same thing would happen to vehicle importation.”