FOU intercepts 37 vehicles worth N1.4b
• Ogun revenue boss disagrees with FG on VAT
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Lagos has intercepted 37 vehicles worth N1.4 billion.
Comptroller-General of the service, Hameed Ali, made this known yesterday while inspecting the vehicles even as he declared war against smugglers that obstruct its officers through violence.
“For those who use violence as instrument of intimidation, let it be known that going forward, NSC operatives will not hesitate to use force to deal with any threat that is intended to obstruct performance of our statutory function,” he said
The Roving team of FOU, Zone ‘A’ had between August 2 and 4, 2017 intercepted 37 assorted vehicles smuggled into the country through Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The seized vehicles include: Eight 2017 model Lexus jeeps LX570; 12 Land Cruiser jeeps and 17 Toyota Hilux with duty paid value (DPV) of N1.37 billion.
The Customs also seized 12,081 bags of parboiled rice with DPV of N149 million, and another 156 seizures including bales of used clothes, Indian hemp and used tyres, among others.
The FOU said no fewer than 17 suspects were currently in custody over the smuggling of vehicles and general goods and were being investigated.
“In the face of security and economic challenges, no responsible government will fold its hand while unpatriotic elements continue to engage in illegal activities that will further compromise national economic and security well-being of her people,” Ali said.
He, therefore, assured that the NCS would continue to work towards ensuring compliance with all extant laws governing imports and exports in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS), Adekunle Adeosun has sharply disagreed with a statement credited to the Federal Government that Lagos State contributes 55 per cent of yearly Value Added Tax (VAT).
It said the remaining 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja put together contribute 45 per cent.
“The bone of contention here is that the Federal Government claims that total VAT that comes from Lagos state annually is 55 per cent and 35 states and Abuja account for 45 per cent.
“But Ogun State disagrees because almost all the companies that remit VAT and Withholding Tax (WHT) produce in Ogun and remit taxes of goods produced and services rendered from Lagos State,” Adeosun said.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had last week, at a meeting with members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum in Birnin Kebbi, said that 55 per cent of the total Value Added Tax receipts come from Lagos while the remaining 45 per cent comes from 35 states and Abuja.
But the Ogun revenue chief doubted the figures, arguing that in as much as it is nationally recognised that most manufacturing industries are domiciled in Ogun State, it was not possible that Lagos would earn 55 per cent of the total VAT ahead of Ogun.