[dropcap]L[/dropcap]atest revelations from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) suggest that most vehicles imported into the Federal Republic of Nigeria by grey importers carry fake registration certificates.
NCS’ image maker, Mr Wale Adeniyi, threw the bombshell in Abuja on Thursday, while briefing newsmen on the collaboration of the Customs with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on a project to put an end to vehicle smuggling by ensuring that all vehicles imported into Nigeria pay duty before registration to generate revenue for the country.
According to Mr. Adeniyi, not less than 70 percent of smuggled vehicles that come into the country sneak in with registration documents that are not genuine.
He said: ” Since the Federal Government had tasked the MDAs to think out of the box in coming up with measures that would improve and increase revenue of the nation, the three agencies have seen an opening.
“These openings show that 70 percent of vehicles that come into the country have fake registration certificate.
‘‘The vehicles are smuggled into the country and their smugglers do not pay duties on them.
“Yet they are able to register. So, that is the gap. Also, these agencies believe that if they collaborate, they can close the gap and shut them out of registration.”
”This project,” he explained, ” involves high level of collaboration among the three agencies to ensure that no vehicle will be registered unless verification of duty payment is made. There will be one shop verification facilities and officers will be deployed to state licence offices.”
” These officers,” he stressed, “will be able to check the system and confirm payment before such applicants are directed to the licensing authority for vehicle registration.”
He said, ”as part of the partnership, every importer will be made to produce the tax Identification Number (TIN) before they can conduct any business with the Customs. FIRS will equip us with the knowledge to be able to access their system and be able to determine whether those are responsible individuals or corporate citizens before they conduct business with Customs.”
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