The Senate Committee on Customs and Excise has revealed plans to review the National Auto policy of the country.
The Senate Committee disclosed this during a stakeholders meeting with Customs officers and freight forwarders at the Apapa Customs Command recently.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma noted that a review of the nation’s auto-policy was timely to address the challenges facing the automobile industry in Nigeria.
Uzodimma lamented that imported used vehicles have become more expensive than brand new vehicles assembled in Nigeria.
Uzodimma also stated that the Senate was open to reviewing the Customs laws and he admonished freight forwarders to engage consultants and come up with their proposals.
“The most important thing is to make the cost of doing business easer, therefore the laws which are rigid will be amended and smugglers that are caught will have to pay fine” Uzodimma said.
Meanwhile, a member of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) stressed that foreigners should not be allowed to clear containers at the ports for security reasons, calling for an indigenization policy for Customs brokage to help create jobs.
The issue of Customs welfare should also be looked into as well as police interfering cargo clearance.
In his response, the Committee Chairman, Senator Hope Uzodimma gave the assurance subsequent meetings would be held with stakeholders in order to solve the problems.
However, the founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Boniface Aniebonam stated that the problem lies with people not obeying the laws of the regulating agencies.
“As soon as we start doing the right thing, everything will work out fine; in other words, those who break the law should be punished”, he said.
Aniebonam also called for the review of Customs laws.