Addressing Journalists on the operations of the Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone B of the Nigeria Customs Service during the period under review, the Comptroller of the unit, Mohammed Sarkin-Kebbi has said that recent clampdown on car dealers importing vehicles without Customs duty has yielded over N1billon between September and December this year.
The Comptroller said very important persons, including members of the National Assembly who hitherto were wary of paying duties on their luxury vehicles, are among those trooping to the customs office to regularise their customs duty payments.
“Even politicians, including Senators, have started paying customs duty on their vehicles that they did not pay duty value before,” he said
The Customs boss expressed satisfaction that the clampdown had actually achieved its objectives. “The update on duty collection on vehicles so far stands at N1,123,438,664. This was as a result of a recent clampdown on car dealers in the zone” he said.
He estimated that by the first quarter of 2020, payments of duty on vehicles that had defaulted may increase to N2 billion as many of the car dealers did not have evidence of payment on the vehicle’s duty and pleaded for time to regularise their records.
Sarkin-Kebbi also said that seizures were made of goods such as second-hand clothing, vegetable oil, 650 bags of rice, among others which duty paid value stand at N430, 824, 400.00.
“A renewed anti-smuggling efforts to curtail the activities of smugglers in this Yuletide season which resulted to the seizure of two trucks laden with 650 bags of foreign smuggled parboiled rice and 70 bales of second-hand clothing respectively,” he said.
It will be recalled that officers of the Nigeria Customs Service began a clampdown on car dealers in the zone in September asking them to produce evidence of payment of customs duty on vehicles.