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The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, on Monday, December 5, issued a directive banning the importation of both new and used vehicles, as from January 1, 2017, through land borders.
The new prohibition order, issued by the Federal Government, is contained in a statement released by the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, which indicated that the ban followed a Presidential directive restricting all vehicles’ imports to Nigeria’s sea ports only, with effect from January 1, 2017.
The NCS Spokesman, Wale Adeniyi, therefore, advised importers of vehicles through the land borders, to utilize the grace period up till December 31, 2016, to clear their vehicle imports landed in neighbouring ports.
While the government’s moves would be considered a serious dislocation in some quarters, some Analysts see the new policy thrust as a strategic initiative, that would drive business towards Nigerian ports, and shore up government revenue through import duties.
In the face of declining oil revenues, the Buhari administration is re-channeling its efforts towards boosting internally generated revenue through taxes. It is projected that taxes will form the fulcrum of the 2017 budget, and shore up government’s confidence for external borrowing.

Already, the announcement has created jitters in neighbouring Benin, which has profited immensely from Nigeria’s lose border policies.
In another development, the NCS Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed, had on Monday, boycotted the Senate’s one-day public hearing on, “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act Bill 2016”.
Stakeholders at the meeting were shocked that the Customs boss shunned, and failed to send representatives to the public hearing, with the aim to abolish a 58-year old law, which is expected to enhance the efficiency of the agency.
This act, it was learnt got the Senate leadership offended, as it expressed displeasure over the action, describing it as a deliberate attempt by the leadership of the NCS to treat the Parliament with contempt.
Despite Ali’s absence, Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs and Excise, Senator Hope Uzodinma, however, noted during his opening remark at the meeting, that the National Assembly was determined to amend the Customs and Excise Act, to ensure the involvement “of an effective, efficient, and result-oriented department, or agency.”

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