Car dealers and clearing and freight forwarding agents have hailed the call by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, seeking a reduction in tariff on vehicles imported into the country.
Ali had last week called on the Federal Government to reduce the 35 per cent levy on imported vehicles so as to check the rising cases of smuggled vehicles into the country.
Ali who spoke during the unveiling of a Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative which held at the Ministry of Finance stated that vehicles imported into the country attract an import duty of 35 per cent and an additional levy of 35 per cent, bringing the total duty payable to 70 per cent, which he said was too high and fuelling smuggling.
“The 35 per cent is a baseline which is the duty, but the 35 per cent levy is what we think should be tinkered with. We should be able to reduce that to a level that it would be affordable. 70 per cent is on the high side, there is no doubt about that for new vehicles but we cannot touch the baseline of the tax regime,” Ali had stated.
Stakeholders, who spoke in separate interviews with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, described the call as a welcome development saying it is high time the government listens to the plights of Nigerians especially those in the auto business.
President-General, United Berger Motor Dealers Association, Metche Nnadiekwe, lamented the lull in business since the government introduced 70 percent duty rate on imported vehicles.
Nnadiekwe who commended the Customs boss for calling for an urgent review of the tariff, said the high duty rate on imported vehicles has caused untold hardship to car dealers as most of them have been put out of business.
According to him, “The high duty on imported vehicles has messed up a lot of things. The business has never been the way it used to be after the government introduced the tariff.