Members of the House of Representatives have asked President Buhari to suspend the new policy of banning vehicle importation through land borders.
The lawmakers on Thursday, specifically advised Buhari to intervene by urgently directing the Nigeria Customs Service to reverse the policy which is expected to come into effect from January 1, 2017.
Instead of enforcing a ban, the House called on the government to ensure that security agencies manned the land borders diligently to enforce the payment of import duties and ensure the remittance of same to the treasury.
In its resolution, the House further urged the government to install border security and surveillance equipment for effective monitoring to address the recurring menace of smuggling and ensure a maximum revenue generation on all lawfully-imported goods.
The resolution was made following a motion raised by Hon. Abdullahi Salame (APC Sokoto state), informing the members that the policy could only worsen the “hunger and insecurity” in the land, and cause job losses.
In the session presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, Hon. Salame who led the debate pointed out that corruption at the borders would increase as Customs personnel would seize the opportunity presented by the ban (on vehicle importation) to divert revenue into private pockets.
He stressed that government will indeed lose revenue and Customs personnel will connive with smugglers to divert revenue. Car dealers will lose their businesses, implying that millions of Nigerians will lose their means of livelihood.
Salame also pointed out that prices of vehicles will hit the rooftops in Nigeria, making fairly used cars out of the reach of ordinary citizens.
Supporting the motion, Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim, (Adamawa State) called for President Buhari to suspend the ban, saying there is no other alternative.
Sadiq Ibrahim says the policy will serve no useful purpose and there will be more problems than solutions to the hardship arising from our current economic situation.