Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Retired Col. Hameed. File

Oladipupo Mojeed

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has officially suspended the implementation of a new controversial motor import duty payment on old vehicles.

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The Service announced the decision in a statement signed and released on Wednesday, March 15 by its acting spokesman Joseph Attah.

The statement said the decision to suspend the vehicle duty payment policy was based on the meeting between the management of the NCS and the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise.

Senate’s intervention

“Following the unnecessary tension generated as a result of misconception and misrepresentation of the Nigeria Customs Service planned motor duty payment, the leadership of the National Assembly and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) met with a view to resolving the impasse.

“They both agreed that the proposed motor duty payment, though in line with the provision of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C.45, LFN 2004 should be put on hold while the Senate Committee on Customs & Excise interfaces with the NCS for further discussions.

“While payment of duty on vehicles or indeed any dutiable imported item remains a civic responsibility of every patriotic Nigerian, NCS Management has directed that the exercise be put on hold while expressing readiness to engage the Senate Committee on further discussions to bring them on board to understand the importance of the exercise to national security and economy.”

Recall that Customs comptroller-general Hameed Ali paid a visit to the Senate president Bukola Saraki on Tuesday, March 14.

Reports said Ali arrived at the Senate wing of the National Assembly complex a few minutes before 6pm to hold a meeting with Saraki in his office.

It was gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed him (Ali) to answer to the Senate’s summon.

The Nigerian Senate and Hameed Ali have been at odds over the refusal of the customs boss to wear his uniform of service to show his designation.