‘Suspend policy on vehicle importation ban through land borders’

The House of Representatives has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to direct Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to suspend recent policy banning the importation of vehicles through the nation’s land borders.

In its resolution on Thursday, the lawmakers explained that more security personnel should be deployed to the borders, adding that the policy expected to come into effect from January 1, 2017 should be reversed.

Part of the resolution read:“The House further urges the government to install border security and surveillance equipment for effective monitoring to address the recurring menace of smuggling and ensure a maximum revenue generation on all lawfully-imported goods.”

Speaking on the issue, an All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker from Sokoto State,  Abdullahi Salame, argued that  policy could only worsen the “hunger and insecurity” in the land coupled with possible job losses.

He was of the opinion that corruption at the borders would increase “as Customs personnel would seize the opportunity to divert revenue into private pockets”.

He said: “The government will indeed lose revenue and Customs personnel will connive with smugglers to divert revenue. Car dealers will lose their business and this also implies that millions of Nigerians will lose their means of livelihood.”

Another member from Adamawa State, Mr. Sadiq Ibrahim, said: “Buhari  should suspend the ban. There is no alternative. Why ban car importation through land borders when you have not provided other options for those in the business to survive?

“This policy will serve no useful purpose and there will be more problems than solutions to the hardship arising from our economic situation.”