Federal Government efforts to discourage importation of vehicles through neighbouring countries may remain a mirage, as importers appear to have taken solace in the range of incentives offered by the Port of Cotonou in Benin Republic.
The Guardian gathered that the Autonomous Port of Cotonou has recently slashed its transit vehicle charges from CFA399,920 (N257,000) to CFA290,000 (N186,000) effective from July 1, 2017.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s import duty on imported vehicles remains astronomically high at 35 per cent, and another 35 per cent surcharge amounting to a total of 70 per cent on a cargo.
Experts have described this as one of the highest in the world, thereby discouraging the use of Nigerian ports. The Guardian investigations revealed that importers of Nigerian-bound vehicles and other cargoes prefer landing them at Cotonou and other neighbouring ports, and smuggling them into Nigeria through the porous borders, in order to avoid prohibitive tariffs charged by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The Guardian, August 10, 2017
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