There is a sigh of relief for the auto dealers’ business premises shut two months ago, as the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) has set to unseal the marts.
This development was disclosed by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone A, Muhammed Aliyu, following a closed-door meeting held on Monday with leaders of the Automobile Dealers Friends Association of Nigeria (ADFA), Lagos State.
Aliyu, who was at the NCS Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way, Ikeja Zonal Headquarters, assured Chairman of ADFAN, Morgan Ogbede and other leaders of the association that he will assist them to get their car marts re-opened soon,
The Customs boss said they agreed that the auto dealers would pay duties on any of their cars on display in their different business premises if found to have been smuggled into the country.
He said auto dealers would also pay whatever is outstanding on vehicles already cleared and registered but which duties were underpaid at the point of the clearing.
Ogbede expressed satisfaction with the decisions agreed upon during the meeting between the association and the NCS.
He said that Aliyu was informed about other challenges faced by the automobile dealers and promised to look into the issue.
“Apart from the closure of our shops, we told them about the issues of harassment, intimidation and extortion on our customers using the eastern roads outside Lagos.
“Aliyu said when we get to Abuja, we would lay the complaints to the Comptroller-General of the NCS as it will be very risky leaving the road unmanned,” he said.
Ogbede also said that the association has not jettisoned its decision to file a suit in court to demand compensation for the various losses suffered as a result of the closure of their business premises since September 30.
Earlier, the auto dealers had staged a demonstration to the Lagos State House of Assembly to seek the intervention of the state government in the lock-up of the auto mart by the NCS.
Armed with a petition, the placard-carrying auto dealers staged a peaceful protest from their Awolowo Road, Ikeja office to Alausa secretariat.
The petition was received by a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Titi Okanlawon on behalf of the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa.
Okanlawon assured them that the House Committee on Commerce and Industries will take up the matter with NCS and feed them back on their findings