Ban on Vehicle importation: Agents, importers rush vehicles at borders

Stories by Johnson Uchenna

The Seme and Idiroko borders in Lagos and Ogun, western part of Nigeria are currently experiencing high activities, as vehicle importers make desperate efforts to beat the January 1, 2017 deadline placed by the Federal Government to end importation of all kinds of vehicles through land borders.
The ban announced early December was sequel to a presidential directive restricting all vehicle imports to Nigeria seaports only and takes effect from January 1, 2017, according to the spokesman of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Wale Adeniyi.
Vehicular imports through the land borders already in process were requested to utilise the grace up till December 31, 2016 to clear their vehicle imports landed in neighbouring ports.

The restriction on importation of vehicles followed that of Rice, whose imports have been banned through the land borders since April 2016.
The lawmakers, at plenary, mandated the committees on Governmental Affairs and Customs and Excise to ensure implementation and report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative input.
However, in a bid to avoid being caught up in the policy web, customs clearing agents and freight forwarders have started making desperate efforts to clear up their vehicles before end of the month.
A freight forwarder operating in Seme Border, Mr Ignatius Ezekwe told our correspondent that since there has not been a contrary directive from the presidency, despite the position of the law makers, it would be risky to leave out his vehicles beyond January 1, 2017.

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