Vehicle dealers under the aegis of Lagos State Motor Dealers Association have concluded arrangements to shut down all car lots in the State in protest against the VIN valuation policy of the Federal Government.
Arising from a general meeting on Thursday, the dealers in a memo to all members directed them to shut down their car lots and showrooms from Friday 25th February, 2022 from morning till 12 noon.
The action, according to the memo signed by the group’s General Secretary, Olanira TIA, was in solidarity with the freight forwarders and clearing agents against the sharp increase in the cost of clearing cars at Nigerian ports.
It was also decided that “Any auto dealer that fails to abide by this decision will have his/her showroom locked up by our task force till Monday the 28th of February 2022, as the only penalty for disobedience.”
The clearing agents had earlier grounded operations at PTML terminals and the popular Car Park C at the Tin Can Island Port in a dramatic protest since on Monday.
According to the agents, the VIN valuation system had raised the duty payable on imported vehicles by almost 300 per cent, making it difficult for them to process the clearance of their vehicles from the port.
But the Customs Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi had described the protesting agents as ‘hypocrites’.
He said the clearing agents protesting the introduction of VIN Valuation do not care about automation, simplification, harmonisation or even transparency in the system.
Bomodi said some of those who oppose the VIN regime was the same set of people who demand the automation of Customs processes