By Aisha Cole and Adegoke Adebola
Aniebonam, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said the cut would improve the country’s revenue and reduce smuggling.
NAN reports that the Comptroller-General of NCS, retired Col. Hameed Ali, last week, urged the Federal Government to reduce the levy on imported vehicles by about 35 per cent to curb smuggling.
Aniebonam said if the Federal Government reduced the levy, it would lead to an influx of cargoes into the country.
“There are many cargoes smuggled into the country through unapproved routes, thereby making the government lose revenue amounting to millions of Naira.
“The intervention should be as fast as possible because of the lives of the officers and men of Customs who are being killed daily.
“It is on record that a lot of officers had lost their lives particularly in Idi-Iroko and many other places.
“Laws are made for man not man made for law, I want to align myself with the appeal of the CGC to allow seamless flow of trade into the country,” he said.
He said duties on very old vehicle above five years could remain high to discourage people from bringing in junks.
“The vehicles below five-years are almost brand new cars.
“All you need to do is to reduce the rate of duty on such vehicles to increase the country’s revenue,” Aniebonam said.
The NAGAFF chief called for a policy that would facilitate trade, adding that smuggling was only confined to the borders but occurred at the airport and seaports.
He urged the CGC to move faster with the appeal.
In the same vein, the Vice President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA), Dr Kayode Farinto, said the levy should be removed completely to encourage the importation of goods through the seaports.
Farinto called for a review of auto policy to stop smuggling of vehicles into the country.
“The intention of the government is to have Nigerian-made vehicles has not materialised in the last five years, instead many operators are feeding fat from the high duty on imported vehicles.
“What we sold to government is that the newer your vehicle, the lesser the rate of duty: the way it is done in Ghana but unfortunately some people hijacked this auto policy and are make money at the expense of the economy,” he said. (NAN)