Reps Push To Lift Ban On Vehicles Importation Through Land Borders

The House of Representatives in Abuja on Thursday, vigorously pushed towards lifting the Ban on Vehicle Importation through land borders in the country..

This was contained in a motion moved by Hon Mojeed Alabi, on the “Need to Lift The Ban Imposed on the Importation of Vehicles through Land Borders in Nigeria.”

Alabi said that the Ban was causing untold hardship to the people, as millions of Nigerians whose livelihoods depended on that business and through which they were sustaining themselves and their families were now thrown out of businesses, thereby adding to the ever-surging rate of unemployment in the country.

The legislator noted that since December 5th, 2016, the Federal Government through the Nigerian Custom Service ( NCS) banned the importation of vehicles through the land borders with effect from January 1, 2017 without adducing any reason while importers were given a deadline of 31st December, 2016 to clear their vehicles imported through land in neighbouring Ports.

“This decision is inordinate and outrageous because it is affecting the lives of importers who depend on that to survive. It is against this backdrop that I charge this House to counter or twist the decision of the Federal Government “, he said.

Hon Alabi added that his decision to raise this motion was in tandem with the Senate’s earliar stand on the decision, which condemned the FG’s rush to take such a consequential and important decision without consultation and without taking into consideration the negative effects it tends to have on the same people you are trying to protect.

The lawmaker recalled that as a swift legislative reaction to the decision, the Senate had in January 2017, adopted a resolution rejecting the Federal Government’s ban on the importation of vehicles through the land borders and called on the Nigerian Custom Service to immediately suspend further action on the policy and directed its Committee on Customs and Excise to probe the circumstances that led to the decision.

“I subscribes to this resolution evethough the FG has refused to rescind this decision”, he said.

He went on to throw more light on why the Senate took the resolution against the Government’s decision, saying, “The Senate’s resolve to reject the Federal Government’s decision was because the action was not only anti-people but also capable of further impoverishing Nigerians as close to 500,000 jobs had been lost by persons engaged in the business of vehicle importation and associated services in the border areas and around the country.

In furtherance to this Senate resolution the House of Representatives also urged the Federal Government to suspend the Ban and mandated its committee’s on Governmental affairs and Customs and Excise to look into the matter and report to the House

Hon Alabi said hevwas disturbed that in spite of popular opposition to the policy, the comptroller-General of Custom, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) directed operatives of the Headquarters compliance Team and the Federal Operations Units of the Service to ensure strict implementation of the policy.

He therefore described the Customs Comptroller General’s action as a violation of Legislation Order, revealing however, that the ban had advertently aided inter-border smuggling, promoted corrupt and sharp practice, aided other cross border crimes, impoverishing the generality of Nigerians and undermining the economic development of the country.

“It is unfortunate that the the resolutions of the two Chambers of the National Assembly not withstanding government has refused to give the needed directives fo the reversal of the policy in order to improve the economic activities in the country.”

Alabi prayed the House to use its legislative powers to prevail on the FG to reverse the policy by lifting the ban.

Adopting the motion, the House urged the FG to suspend the ban on the importation of vehicles through Land Borders as it not only impoverished Nigerians but also has an adverse effect and the economy.

It also mandated the committees on Govermental Affairs and on Custom Excise to liase with the Comptroller -General of the Custom Service and other relevant stakeholders to, review the workabilityof the ban,bwork towards suspending of the ban, and come up with better ways to deal with the issues that led to the imposition of the Ban.

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