The Vice-President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto, says the failure of the Nigeria Customs Service to harmonize vehicle tariffs is frustrating the 48-Cargo Clearance policy of the government and is allegedly being used by customs officers to harass and extort customs licensed agents in the ports.
Farinto noted that all attempts by the ANLCA to prevail on the Customs to take a cue from the Ghana Customs uniform tariffs on vehicles proved abortive.
The ANLCA Vice President made this known in a media briefing during the week at Apapa on sundry port issues. He accused the officers of frustrating the process of harmonised tariffs on vehicles for their selfish interests.
”I have on several occasions begged the Customs authority to give us uniform tariff on vehicles. Nigerians need to know that for instance, a tariff on the 2019 Camry differs at Tin Can, Apapa and PTML. They pay different values because of the arbitrariness of duty.
”We have received many complaints from our members over the extortion and arbitrariness of tariff on vehicles. And we have asked the Customs to take a cue from Ghana where we even offered to sponsor officers of the Service to go and understudy their system.
”In Ghana, your VIN number is imputed into the system which will give all the details on the vehicles such as year of manufacture, mileage on the odometer. With that, your vehicle will be valued. You can’t lie. But here in Nigeria, they prefer arbitrary imposition of tariffs.
”I have it on good authority that the Comptroller General of Customs has directed that there must be uniformity of value but this has not been implemented. We are tired of an arbitrary value, we are tired of giving bribes,” Farinto said.