Some clearing agents on Tuesday staged a peaceful protest to register their frustration over the newly introduced Vehicle Identification Number valuation policy by the Nigeria Customs Service.
The protest halted operations at Car Park C at Tin Can Island Port and PTML terminals on Tuesday morning.
The aggrieved clearing agents accused the NCS of introducing the new policy to frustrate their activities as this will lead to a rise in the cost of clearing vehicles from seaports across the country.
Chairman of the Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, PTML chapter, Jude Ige, disclosed that they will continue to kick against the new policy until it is reversed by the NCS.
Spokesperson for the NCS, Timi Bomodi, said that clearing agents were carried along in the formulation of the new policy, adding that it was hypocrisy on their part to now demand uniform value on imported vehicles.
He said, “In recent times the consensus among clearing agents on the valuation of used vehicles appear to favour a harmonised value system that is consistent across all Customs platforms in Nigeria.
“They insisted that the same make and model of cars should be made to pay the same amount of duty. These agents also demanded the discontinuation of the discounted value method which allowed for the subjective considerations of officers in the Customs Valuation Unit who rely mainly on the book value of vehicles discounted at a fixed rate over time.
“They demand standardisation but prefer randomised values. They demand simplification of trade processes but prefer a little complication here and there.
“For this lot, the contradictions in their demands make sense so long as it translates to the payment of the least tax to government. Their propensity to give advice but not to take it smacks of hypocrisy and should be called out by well-meaning Nigerians.”