- Customs suspended Senate waver on car seizure;
- Customs boss announced seizure of cars unless claimed in 30 days;
- Owners of land imported cars dodge charges – PRO, NCS;
The Nigerian National Assembly unanimously agreed to a passed motion to issue an arrest warrant forcing the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Custom Service, NCS, retired Col. Hammed Ali, to appear before it on Thursday.
The move came pursuant to the suspension of the implementation policy for duty payments on old vehicles which the Nigeria Customs Services sidestepped.
Meanwhile, the NCS had said the suspension was in order to resolve differences with the Senate Committee on Customs.
According to the Acting Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Mr. Joseph Attach, Wednesday in Abuja said the Management of the Customs directed that the policy be temporarily suspended but expressed its readiness to dialogue with the Senate Committee.
Mr. Attach expressed concerns that the essence of putting on hold the policy was to engage the Senate on board to grasp the importance of the exercise to national security and the economy of Nigeria.
“Following the tension generated as a result of misconception and misrepresentation of the NCS planned motor duty payment, the leadership of the National Assembly and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) met with a view to resolving the impasse.
“They both agreed that the proposed motor duty payment, though in line with the provision of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C.45, LFN 2004, should be put on hold.
“While the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise interfaces with the NCS for further discussions.
“Payment of duty on vehicles or any dutiable imported item remains a civic responsibility of every patriotic Nigerian,’’ Attah said.
It will be recalled that the comptroller-general granted a 30 days ultimatum for Nigerian vehicle owners who are yet to pay import duties to do so else stand a chances of outright forfeiture of the vehicles; as same applies to new vehicles bought from car dealers.
The ultimatum period given to car owners starts March 13 to April 12, for affected owners to pay up necessary vehicles duties.
The public relations officer for the NCS, also mentioned that some vehicle owners brought cars into the country through lands borders and did not pay for duty charges.
Stingged earlier reported that the Nigerian Senate has ordered the custom boss, Ali, to appear before it officially decorated in its corporate uniforms identifying it to the office he holds – something the comptroller general has refused in times citing his past attainment as an ex-military Colonel.
Meanwhile, Ali, had officially written the Upper Chambers informing it of his absence to the summons sequel to his fortnightly meeting of the NCS’s management meeting.