Customs to auction seized Imo Government vehicles – CGC

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It was gathered that the Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Colonel Hameed Ali, says the service would auction seized vehicles belonging to Imo State Government, brought into Nigeria without payment of customs duty.

hameed-ali

Ali said this during an oversight visit by the Senate Committee on Customs on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, many cars on Nigerian roads use fake customs papers, adding that most of the cars were smuggled.

Ali said: “We (customs) are giving Nigerians with fake customs papers grace to pay their duty or risk confiscation of their vehicles.

“I am waiting for the President, Muhammed Buhari, to give me the permission to ban importation of cars through land borders to curb smuggling.

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“Vehicles imported should only come through the sea ports; this will boost our revenue collection.”

Ali accused car dealers in the country of being responsible for high rate of smuggled cars.

He said that sometimes customs considered innocent buyers of fake papers on vehicles to pay fees so that their vehicles could be released to them.

Ali said many scanners at Nigeria’s borders were non-functional, and assured of procurement of functional ones soon.

Ali said that the NCS generated N570 billion in nine months.

He said Nigerians were the most non-compliant in the world, adding: “All we need is full compliance of the law.”

Ali said the service was working on increasing its surveillance over the borders.

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He said: “We have two helicopters right now for surveillance; we need more.”

According to him, the Nigeria Customs Service since the beginning of the year has not received any form of intervention fund to boost its operations.

Ali said: “We believe this happened because of the scarcity of fund the country is experiencing.

“We need intervention fund for effective service delivery; we are not expecting too much.”

Ali said full automation in customs would stop revenue leakages.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs and Excise, Senator Hope Uzodinma, expressed displeasure that the revenue generation of the service was dwindling.

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Uzodinma said that the NCS might not generate enough revenue this year due to decline in customs revenue.

Uzodinma said: “The NCS must find avenues to block all leakages.”

He pledged the commitment of the Senate to customs by making laws that would enhance its revenue generation.

The committee suggested that all seized items in customs warehouses could also be given to orphanages not just the IDPs alone.

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