Customs boss gives car owners one-month grace to pay duty

The Comptroller-General (CG) of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), has given defaulting car owners one month to pay up their duty or have their vehicles seized.

The agency’s Acting Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja that the one-month grace holds from March 13 to April 12.

He said that any vehicle brought into the country through the land borders obviously did not pay duty, adding that owners of such vehicles should go and pay the duty due to the vehicles.

Attah listed four zonal offices where authenticity of duty could be verified. They include Zone A headquarters at Yaba, Lagos and Zone B head office in Kabala Doki, Kaduna.

Also opened for the verification exercise are Zone C headquarters, Port Harcourt and that of Zone D in Bauchi State. He said that any vehicle owner in doubt could approach any of closest to verify the authenticity of his/her customs papers.

At the expiration of the deadline, Attah revealed that service would embark on an aggressive anti-smuggling operation to impound vehicles and prosecute offenders.

The Customs spokesman said since the ban on importation of vehicles through the land borders by the Federal Government, the service had been working to perfect the process of issuing licences to bonded vehicle terminals for car dealers.

Attah said before the commencement of the clampdown, “NCS is advising all car owners in Nigeria that have not paid duty on their vehicles to do so. “Once we start issuing the licence, any vehicle already in the country with no evidence of duty payment will be liable to seizure and the owner will be prosecuted.

“We advise Nigerians to take advantage given to them within the one month period to go to our zonal offices closest to them to pay.”

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