The Federal Government may soon relax the ban on the importation of vehicles through the land border. Recall that the government in January 2017, placed a ban on the importation of vehicles through land borders.
According to the Nigerian Customs Service NCS, the ban was a means of controlling the influx of used vehicles, popularly called ‘Tokunbo’, into the country.
Well, there are indications that the Federal government may soon relax on the ban after the successful implementation of a new initiative by the Nigeria Customs Service and the Customs Service of the Republic of Benin to automate and network all electronic information about incoming car through the border.
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (retd.), made this known at a stakeholders’ meeting on the new initiative. He expressed confidence that with a successful implementation of the bilateral electronic connectivity programme between Nigeria and Republic of Benin, the Federal Government might lift the ban on items coming through the land border.
Represented at the event by the Assistant Comptroller, Information and Communication Technology, Benjamin Aber, the Customs boss said
“Vehicles were formerly being imported through the Seme border, but suddenly it was banned because the pressure of enforcement of anti-smuggling for vehicles and claiming of lives and revenue were becoming too alarming, so the government had to restrict the importation through Nigerian ports.
When vehicles came through the land border, we did not have a record of how the imported cars came here and fake documentation became a common phenomenon. The ban was just a control measure against the practice.
By the time we successfully deploy this reliable, transparent and predictable programme that would assist government agencies, not only Customs, to control and regulate the importation of vehicles, the government may decide to relax such restrictions.” he said