As the Federal Government commences implementation of the ban on importation of vehicles through land borders, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Seme Chapter, weekend, pleaded with the authorities to grant a three-month grace period before enforcing the policy.
Chairman of the association, Alhaji Bisiriyu, spoke with newsmen in Badagry, Lagos State.
The Federal Government had on December 5 placed a ban on importation of used and new vehicles through land borders with effect from January 1, 2017.
The ANLCA chief said the grace period will enable ships carrying vehicles to berth for clearance before implementation of the ban.
Danu said the ban would create unemployment, increase revenue leakages and could result in massive smuggling.
He said vehicle importation through land borders had provided employment to over 500,000 graduates, adding that these were people that would have ordinarily roamed the streets due to unemployment.
He said: “We should not forget that such a policy was employed in the past and it led to serious revenue leakages and massive smuggling along the border areas, which led to wastage of material resources.
“There are thousands of routes through which these consignments can enter the country but at the moment, there has been a measure of compliance so the right channel is being followed. All these would change with the effect of the ban.
“The Federal Government generates enough revenue on vehicle importation as the Seme Customs Area Command alone generates N600 million monthly on vehicle duties.
“However, all that will change with the ban placed on the border importation of vehicles. The government should consider all these factors, including the fact that the country is going through recession and this policy is going to worsen the hardship on Nigerians.”