Abuja – The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) has called for closer collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for a seamless implementation of the new automotive policy.
The Director-General of NADDC, Mr Aminu Jalal, made the call when the Comptroller General of NCS, retired Col. Hameed Ali, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Jalal said that the NCS was a critical partner in the implementation of the policy, hence the need for regular consultation between both agencies on related issues.
He identified some areas of collaboration between the NADDC and NCS to include enforcement of vehicle tariff, curtailing smuggling, inspection and dissemination of information to other stakeholders.
Jalal, however, identified some technical and bureaucratic bottlenecks that both agencies needed to sort out to ensure synergy in their operations.
“The process of vehicle certification has been most difficult and fraught with bureaucratic delays.
“The programmes to precede the imposition of 35 per cent levy on second hand vehicles which can potentially undermine investment have not been realised because of delays.
“These include non-release of accumulated 35 per cent levies collected by NCS to the NADC Automotive Development Fund and delays in the integration with NCS to obtain vehicle identification numbers.’’
He added that the customs was also reluctant in implementing the policy due to misunderstanding about the strategy to balance its duty regime for positive impact on revenue.
Jalal urged the NCS to designate an officer or a team to work with the NADDC to ensure smooth implementation of the policy.
Responding, Ali said that the visit was part of his ongoing consultation with relevant agencies for a stronger collaboration to serve Nigerians better.
Ali pledged the commitment of Customs to the successful implementation of the policy to realise its objectives.
He, however, advised the NADDC to ensure due diligence in the certification of companies for vehicle assembly operations.
The CG also urged the council to move from vehicle assembly to local content development to create the needed job opportunities for Nigerians and grow the economy.(NAN)