Customs extend raid on car marts to Kebbi
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) has clamped down on car dealers and sealed six car stands in Kebbi State.
Alhaji Faruk Ajala, the state Financial Secretary of Motor Dealers Association of Nigeria, and Managing Director, Ajala Motors, made this known while fielding questions from newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.
“On Oct. 1 customs officials descended on our car stands, sealed off our business premises without issuing any notice for an operation to confiscate vehicles without valid custom duties,” he said.
Ajala said the raid by customs officials on their imported cars caused commotion and panic to their members because of the way they were shooting at the tyres of the vehicles during the raid.
“On hearing that customs men were sealing car stands, my boys were afraid.
”When the customs came to my business premises they shot the tyres of my two vehicles claiming that my boys wanted to take and drive them away.
“Although, what my boys did was wrong by trying to run away from the customs with the vehicles, the customs were also wrong to shoot at the vehicles.
“The vehicles they shot, unfortunately, have valid original customs duties as 90 per cent of my vehicles have custom duties,” he said.
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He called for the understanding between the NCS and their association, adding that they were partners who contribute to the economic development of the country through revenue generation.
“Our members are ready to amicably resolve the issue of duty payment for as long the government reduces the amount paid on duties.”
The secretary appealed to government to intervene in the matter so that their business premises would be reopened.
“I have over 40 youths in my company that receive salaries. Imagine what will happen if this place continues to remain shut,” he said.
When contacted, the NCS Zonal PRO in Kaduna, Ado Abdulkarim, said the operation was in line with “Operation Border Drill” embarked upon by the service and other security agencies.
“The car stands raid was done all over the country to ensure that cars are properly registered and duties paid into government coffers,” he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the car stands sealed included Gamzaki Motors, Ijaba Motors, Sauki Motors, Ajala Motors, Jihab Motors and Aboki Motors, among others in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
The development came a few days after NCS operatives raided some popular car marts in Lagos.
The Comptroller General’s Strike Force and officers attached to the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’, Ikeja stormed Berger along Apapa-Oshodi Express Road and other premises across the state.
Many of them were closed on the orders of the Comptroller General of the Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), for allegedly retailing smuggled vehicles in the shops.
Among those affected were Affordable Cars Limited, Carlink Limited, Ineh Mic Autos, Globe Motors, Coscharis, Skymit Motors, Arrowhead Motors, Wonder Wheels Motors, Auto Point Motors and Stallion Motors.
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