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Face-off Looms, Senate Summons Customs Boss over Car Duty Payments

Senate floor
* Orders him to appear in uniform

Damilola Oyedele in Abuja

A face-off may be brewing between the Senate and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), following the directive issued Thursday by the Senate that the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hammeed Ali (rtd.), must appear unfailingly in full uniform to explain the decision by the Customs Service to stay the course on the ultimatum given to car owners nationwide to pay duties on their vehicles between March 13 and April 12, 2019, or risk having their cars impounded.

The Senate directed that he appears next Wednesday at plenary.

The directive that Col. Ali, a retired Nigerian Army officer, appears in the uniform of the NCS, is not unconnected to the fact that the comptroller-general has never worn the uniform of the service since his appointment two years ago.

The NCS last week gave a one-month long grace period to car owners to visit payment points across the country to verify the status of their vehicles and pay duties if this had not been done.
Despite a Senate resolution on Tuesday asking the Customs Service to suspend the policy on duty payments by vehicles owners, the NCS revised its directive the next day by granting a 60 per cent rebate on all vehicles imported into the country before 2016, but retained the grace period of one month within which all car owners and dealers are expected to verify the status of their cars and pay duties on uncustomised vehicles.

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