The Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) has finally moved to unseal the premises of the automobile dealers shut about two months ago for allegedly harbouring smuggled vehicles.
This was announced by the Comptroller, Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone A, Muhammed Aliyu after a closed-door meeting held with leaders of the Automobile Dealers Friends Association of Nigeria, Lagos State, at Ikeja, Lagos, as reported by The Nation.
Aliyu reassured the automobile dealers that their businesses would be reopened as soon as possible.
Resolutions: Aliyu said going forward, the agreement is that the auto dealers would pay duties on any of their cars on display in their different business premises if found to have been smuggled into the country.
He also said that for any vehicle that its duties are underpaid at the point of clearing, the outstanding would be paid by the auto dealers.
The Chairman of the Automobile Dealers Friends Association of Nigeria, Morgan Ogbede was enthusiastic about the decisions reached by both parties as he made known that the challenges of the automobile dealers had all been conveyed to Aliyu who said he would look into the issues.
“Apart from the closure of our shops, we told them about the issues of harassment, intimidation and extortion on our customers using the eastern roads outside Lagos. Aliyu said when we get to Abuja, we would lay the complaints to the Comptroller-General of the NCS as it will be very risky leaving the road unmanned,” he said.
Speaking further, Ogbede also said that the association had not abandoned its decision to file a suit in court to demand compensation for the various losses suffered as a result of the closure of their business premises since September 30.
Nairametrics understands that the automobile dealers, whose marts were sealed, had earlier staged a peaceful protest carrying placards from their Awolowo Road, Ikeja office to Alausa secretariat.
Recall that 272 car marts were shut down by the NCS as part of a crackdown to catch auto dealers selling smuggled vehicles. The raid was conducted across the country in Lagos, FCT, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi.