FG Loses N200billion To Diversion Of Car Imports to Cotonou Port


The federal government loses about N200 billion annually to diversion of automobile imports to the Port of Cotonou in Republic of Benin, Managing Director of Grimaldi Agency Nigeria Limited,Ascanio Russo has said.

Russo, who gave further insight into why vehicles are diverted to the port in Republic of Benin by Nigerian importers, Russo sighted manipulations of tariff rates by relevant agency of government, as there are no publication of cost of vehicles imported anywhere in the world.

Grimaldi manages the PTML Terminal in Tin Can Island Port, Lagos and is one of Nigeria’s struggling automobile ports, suffering from the effect of the country’s automotive policy.

Speaking at a stakeholder’s forum in Lagos, where the minister of Transport was present, the PTML boss said Nigerians pay lower rates at Cotonou, maintaining that “there is clearly a problem of trade policy.”

He told the minister that while importers pay a fixed amount for vehicles, the percentage benchmark tariff collected at Nigerian ports was a huge source of problem for the importers, becoming a major reason for jettisoning Nigerian ports.

“In June 2015 when the duty increased as a result of auto policy, we saw immediately the effect. I think that the 35 per cent tariff for used vehicles is too high and is a source of problem because the prices of vehicles are not published anywhere and it is left to the Customs to determine the rates,” he added.

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