Suspend Ban On Vehicle Imports Through Land Borders, Reps Tell FG

The House of Representatives, yesterday, asked the Federal Government to suspend the ban on importation of vehicles through land borders in Nigeria.

Consequently, the lawmakers, at plenary, mandated the Committees on Governmental Affairs and Customs and Excise to ensure implementation and report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative input.

This development was based on a motion, entitled ‘’Need to suspend The Ban On Importation of Vehicles Through Land Borders, promoted by Abdulahi Salame, APC, Sokoto. Meantime, stakeholders in the maritime industry were divided on the issue, yesterday.

While some supported the ban, others kicked against it. Salame, in his presentation, argued that those making these policies have failed to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods, especially Nigerian assembled vehicles, which are, in any case unaffordable for 80 percent of Nigerians.

He said: “The percentage of Nigerians who can afford cars has declined drastically, following the decline in the value of the Naira, rising inflation, unemployment and high cost of living that have bedeviled Nigeria where over 80 per cent of Nigerians live below $2 a day. “The Federal Government has powers under Section 18 of the Customs and Excise Management Act to restrict the movement of goods into and out of Nigeria by land or inland waters and to appoint customs stations.

‘’However, similar exercise of such powers on rice importation through the land borders in April 2016, has occasioned untold hardship on Nigerians, as a bag of rice now sells for between N20,000 and N23,000, against N8,000 a few months ago.

“As it is now, the government has not put in place alternative measures to ensure that Nigerians will have access to cars since it is cheaper to buy cars from neighbouring countries and still generate revenue by ensuring that our borders are secured to prevent smuggling, and also that there will be no job losses.’’
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Port operators hail Nigeria’s ban on vehicle importation through land borders

The Seaport Terminal Operators of Nigeria has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for banning the importation of vehicles into the country through the land borders.

The chairperson of the group, Vicky Haastrup, while reacting to the ban announced by the Federal Government on Monday said the move, if well implemented by the Nigeria Customs Service, will reduce the smuggling of vehicles into Nigeria and revive the operations of Roll-On-Roll-Off (RORO) terminals in the country.

RORO terminals are specialised port terminals that handle all types of vehicles.

Ms. Haastrup asked the government to take a step further by scrapping the high import duty regime imposed on vehicles by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013.

“We are confident of the ability of President Muhammadu Buhari to turn the economy around. The earlier ban on importation of rice, and now of vehicles, through the land borders is a welcome development,” she was quoted as saying in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

“We are happy that the President has listened to our appeal to reverse incongruous policies inherited by his government from the former administration and which have deprived Nigerian ports of cargoes to the advantage of the ports of neighbouring countries.

“In addition to this ban through the land borders, we appeal to the President to return the import duties on vehicles to 20% from the prohibitive 70% tariff imposed by the former administration.

“The reversal to the old tariff will serve as an incentive for Nigerians to import legitimately through the seaports and make appropriate payments to government. This will boost revenue collection by the Nigeria Customs Service. It will also lead to the return of lost jobs at the affected ports.

“We also appeal to Customs officers at the border posts to support the Federal Government and the NCS leadership by ensuring that no smuggled vehicle finds its way into the country through the land borders from 1st January 2017 when the new policy is expected to come into effect,” Ms. Haastrup said.

She said since 2014 when the 70% hike in the tariff of imported vehicles came into effect, Nigeria had lost 80% of its vehicle cargo traffic to the ports of neighbouring countries.

“Since the high tariff was introduced, importers have resorted to landing their vehicles at the ports of neighbouring countries and smuggling them into Nigeria without paying appropriate duties to government. This amounted to huge revenue loss to Customs.

“The policy also led to loss of more 5,000 direct and indirect jobs at the affected port,” the STOAN Chairman said.

VC Of FUTA Arrested For Deliberately Crushing Staff With Vehicle.

Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, the embattled Vice Chancellor of the crisis-ridden Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), in Ondo State, was this morning arrested after he hit a member of staff of the institution with his car.

Abiodun Ademola Atunbi of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) member of FUTA was allegedly crushed to the point of death, and was rushed to the hospital.

SaharaReporters learned that the incident happened on the main campus at Oba’nla in Akure at about 8:30a.m. as some members of staff of the institution were gathering at a meeting point for prayers.

Our correspondent gathered that the victim is the younger brother of a renowned journalist, Dele Atunbi of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).

Police Officers from the Okuta Elerinla Police Station arrested Prof. Daramola shortly after the incident.

Several aggrieved members of staff of the school converged at the Senate building following the incident.

Many of them trooped out to the street and made a bonfire as a sign of protest against the Vice-Chancellor’s wickedness, described by one of them as a deliberate action taken out of anger to kill Mr. Atunbi, who was one of the activists agitating for his removal from office.

One source told SaharaReporters that Mr. Atunbi was on his way to the prayer ground but was attacked by Professor Daramola with his vehicle immediately the Vice Chancellor saw him.

“The Vice Chancellor deliberately did it with the aim of killing Mr. Atunbi who he sees as a threat and whistleblower to his corrupt administration in the school,” he said.

“This is a man that has been threatening to kill all of us who are agitating for his removal from the office following the discovery of his corrupt practices with the school treasury.”

Comrade Durojaiye, the FUTA Chairman of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) also confirmed the incident to SaharaReporters in a telephone interview.

“The incident happened around the bank road of the main campus, and I think it was deliberate because the Vice Chancellor has always threatened to deal with some of us who are against the continuity of his administration in the school.

“The victim, Mr. Atunbi, is a member of NASU and is our time-keeper during this period of protest and he rings the bells early in the morning to create awareness for members of staff to converge at our meeting point for prayers.

“Considering the incident that happened this morning, the aim of the VC is to kill us one after the other and keep us quiet but we have uncovered his plan, and he shall fail,” Mr. Durojaiye said.

Soldier’s Vehicle Explodes In Lagos

A Toyota car, belonging to a Nigerian Army personnel identified as Lasisi Adeleye, was said to have exploded on Tuesday when it collided with a truck.

The car had exploded after collision with a Mercedes Benz 1428 truck marked AKM162ZW, which had recklessly hit it from the rear.

Following the impact of the crash, the Camry veered off the road, somersaulted severally and knocked down a passerby who fell and sustained fractures on the leg.

However, the soldier was able to escape unhurt from the relics of the damaged car before it eventually exploded upon hitting the pedestrian kerb, purportedly because of petroleum products it was carrying.

While passersby were attempting to assist the injured victim, the truck driver, who was identified as Joseph Chima, was said to have attempted to flee, but was caught by the soldier, who took him to the nearest police station to make statement.

The arrival of the officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) saw the injured man being taken into their patrol van for onward journey to the hospital.

Confirming the incident, the Assistant Corps Commander, Emmanuel Edeh, said the victim was taken to New Age Hospital, Kirikiri Apapa where it was discovered he fractured an ankle.

Credit: Thisday

FRSC Clears Air On Motor Vehicle Registration, License Plates

Following repeated complaints from Nigerians about the discrepancies in obtaining motor vehicle licence plates, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has issued a statement to clarify issues bordering on vehicle registration in the country.

The statement said the FRSC is only required by law to produce license plates for onward distribution to states’ internal revenue boards.

The statement, which was signed by the agency’s head of media relations and strategy, Mr. Bisi Kazeem, said only states are permitted by law to issue number plates to citizens.

“The FRSC responsibility is to design and produce vehicle number plates by virtue of Section 5(g) and Section 10 sub section 3(f) of the Federal Road Safety Commission (Establishment) Act, 2007. After production, the number plates are handed over to the States through States Boards of Internal Revenue (SBIRs) who now sell to the public.”

Nigerians have berated the FRSC for its handling of motor vehicle registration across the country, describing it as “cumbersome” and “exploitative.”

But in his statement, Mr. Kazeem said the FRSC does not partake in decisions about license plates fees but only collaborates with states to set national standards and develop reliable database for motor vehicles.

“The payment for number plates by motorists is strictly within the purview of the States since such payments are regarded as road taxes. In like manner, registration of vehicles is also the responsibility of the State Licensing Authorities. The FRSC however, collaborates with the State agencies involved to set national standards anto develop a reliable national database for all registered vehicles in Nigeria.”

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Air Force Strikes Terrorists’ Vehicle Workshops, Fuel, Ammunition Dumps In Sambisa

The Nigerian Air Force says its alpha jets have successfully carried out air strikes and destroyed the Boko Haram’s vehicle workshops, fuel and ammunition dumps all within the Sambisa forest.

According to the Director, Air Force Public Relations and Information, Commodore Dele Alonge, this is part of a renewed drive to further degrade the Boko Haram terrorists’ assets.

He said that the effort was as a result of a painstaking Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) efforts by the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and ATR-42 platforms.

According to him, the air strikes on the insurgents would pave the way for the final onslaught by the land forces to meet President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives to bring insurgency in the north-east to an end by December.

Credit: ChannelsTV