Following a Presidential directive restricting importation of all vehicles to Nigerian sea ports only, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), on Monday announced a ban on new and used vehicles, thereby putting the economy of neighbouring Republic of Benin in jeopardy.
The ban is also sequel to the ban on rice imports through the borders last April, at a time shiploads of the commodity have reportedly been shipped to Cotonou port, preparatory to being smuggled into Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.
The Federal Government has lost an estimated N600 billion in the last three years to diversion of vehicles laden ships to neighbouring ports, especially Cotonou.
This amount is believed to represent the revenue that would have been collected by the NCS if the vehicles were shipped directly through the nation’s ports.
A statement for the Comptroller-General of Customs by Wale Adeniyi, NCS’ Public Relations Officer, said the order takes effect from January 1, 2017.
“Importers of vehicles through the land borders are requested to utilize the grace period up till 31st December 2016 to clear their vehicle imports landed in neighbouring Ports,” Adeniyi added.