Importers under the aegis of Ndigboamaka Progressive (Market) Association have threatened to shut down Lagos markets within two days over the implementation of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Valuation policy.
Dr Jude Okeke, president, Ndigboamaka issued the warning at a media conference in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said the group took the position because the implementation of the VIN valuation policy introduced by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had profound effects on markets, trade and economy.
He noted that importers who were faced with many issues ranging from terminal and shipping line charges now had to bear the additional burden of the VIN valuation policy.
He said the extra costs associated with these policies negatively affected the businesses of his members, as they made goods expensive for consumers, the end-users.
According to him, the threat to shut down the markets is not to hurt any individual or government agencies, but to ensure things are done the right way.
“We are major importers of various commodities and trading under the name Ndigboamaka Progressive Association, an umbrella body of major market associations in Lagos.
“Examples of such markets are Alaba International Market, All Markets in Trade Fair Complex, Ladipo Market, Coker building Materials and others.
“This new one on VIN should be suspended indefinitely so that goods and vehicles stranded at the port will be removed.
“This morning, I just received information concerning this VIN issue, the Port and Terminal Multiservices Ltd. saying that over 12,000 vehicles are trapped in their terminal and attracting demurrage and shipping line charges.
“By the time we quantify the amount importers will be losing, the demurrage is going over N600 million naira. We cannot continue to accommodate such expenses anymore, so they need to discard the policy,” he said.
Nicole said the insinuation that second-hand vehicles were a nuisance was wrong because when imported they are taken to authorised workshops to be certified and issued road worthiness license.
“This meeting is to tell the Nigerian government that we are not happy and this alliance will continue until the government changes their policies and listens to us,” he said. (NAN)