Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: Importers Predict Doom Over Vehicle Duty Hike

Importers and agents have warned against the planned increase of duty on imported vehicles.

They say the Lagos ports will witness very low patronage next year when government implements the new tariff regime on imported vehicles announced recently.

"This will invariably lead to loss of revenue, unprecedented increase in smuggling and massive loss of jobs in the ports."

According to importers and agents, the 35 per cent duty increase and 35 per cent levy on all categories of imported cars would practically shut down Nigerian ports as importers would now patronise the neighbouring Cotonou port in Benin Republic. The National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, (NAGAFF), Chief Eugene Nweke, said in Lagos that the increase would only enhance the fortune of neighbouring Cotonou Port. He said with 35 per cent duty increase and 35 per cent levy, only few cars will enter the country through Nigerian ports.

"Almost all imported cars meant for Nigeria will come through Cotonou and will be smuggled intoNigeria," he said. Nweke said the federal government should have rehabilitated the motor vehicle assembling plants in the country before coming up with the policy.

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