The Nigerian government is set to reduce duty rates on cars and other vehicles soon. Assistant Comptroller-General Kathleen Ekekezie, Zonal Coordinator, Zone `A’ Headquarters, Nigeria Customs Service, disclosed this on Wednesday while receiving executive members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in her office in Lagos.
Ekekezie said that the zone was waiting for the Federal Ministry of Finance to issue the circular for Customs to implement.
She noted that the service was now fully automated, saying that importers could no longer come with doctored the Bill of Lading.
According to her, now once the valuation of the vehicle is done, it is in the system.
She urged importers to be compliant with import rules and regulations.
“If you have brand new vehicles, you must have the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR),’’ Ekekezie said.
On donated items coming into the ports, she said that the Federal Ministry of Finance had automated the grant of Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC).
The Customs chief explained that the consignee would write the Federal Ministry of Finance for IDEC.
According to her, the next thing is to walk to the Customs Service and make proper declarations.
She added that the service could curb smuggling, saying that the service had a good relationship with community leaders and telling them not to support smuggling.
Ekekezie, however, suggested that for the border communities, there should be good roads in the border communities; more hospitals and schools as well as cottage industries to create employment.
“African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) industries can be sited along with the border areas. If the government can do this within a short period of time, smuggling will no longer be attractive,’’ the customs chief said.
She described the media as friendly and a very important part of the service.
Ekekezie added that customs intervention units were meant to check revenue leakages, curb smuggling, ensure the security of lives and property as well as trade facilitation.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, Mr. Adeleye Ajayi, commended the service for exceeding the N1 trillion mark since 2017.
He lauded the service for recording a total revenue of N1.5 trillion in 2020 and exceeded the target of N1.38 trillion target set for the command in the period under review.
Ajayi also commended the customs management for the ongoing reforms in the service, automation process, Nigeria Customs Integrated System (NICIS 11) software platform, robust stakeholders’ sensitization and the commitment of officers to work,
The NUJ Chairman also lauded the service for the speedy deployment of scanners at the ports and border posts.
Ajayi commended the zonal coordinator for the effective administration of the 13 commands and units under her jurisdiction.
The NUJ Chairman said the service had done well in its tripod functions of collection of customs revenue, facilitation of international and national trade and anti-smuggling activities.
He solicited the assistance of the service in terms of training and retraining in order to effectively report the activities of the service and avoid being misquoted.
Ajayi also called for the assistance of the service in the completion of the ongoing remodeling of the secretariat of the union in Ikeja, Lagos.