On Monday, December 5, 2016, the Federal Government declared total ban on vehicle importation through land borders with effect from January 1, 2017.
The step has since been generating reactions among Nigerians. While some believe it’s a step in the right direction, others argue it won’t do the country any good.
‘It’s a welcome development’ -NASO TOBECHUKWU
“I am in support of the ban. It’s a step in the right direction if it will be followed strictly. By the time it’s fully implemented, Nigeria will earn more revenue from importation of vehicles from seaports, and even our seaports will be busier than ever before. All the money being lost to neighbouring countries won’t go to such countries again. And I also believe smuggling will be discouraged.”
‘It’s senseless’ -OBI UZOR
“I don’t support the idea at all. To me, it’s a senseless decision. We need to think of the fact that whether an item is banned or not through the land borders, that does not prevent smuggling. The more the ban, the more you see the products everywhere. Can you tell me of any item that has been prohibited through the land borders that is not still available in the market? So, to me, banning vehicles through the land borders will only encourage more smuggling and be making custom officials richer every day. There can be importation through the land borders, and government will still be making more revenues if properly monitored rather than leaving everything in the hands of the custom officials who will only be pretending to be working for the interest of the country.”
‘It’s a good policy’ – EMMANUEL NNANA
“The ban on importation of cars through land borders is a positive development. Nigeria has numerous seaports and airports, and as such, we need to keep them busy and more viable economically instead of feeding the neighbouring countries. We need to revitalise our airports and seaports to enhance our revenue, and the only way we can achieve that is to close our land borders against such imports.”
‘I am not in support of the ban, it’s additional pain’ -ISIAQ OYINLOLA
“I don’t see any sense in doing something like that at this moment. There’s pain in the land already, coming out with that policy now is just an additional pain. People can still be importing vehicles and be paying small import duty. No matter how, government will still realise some revenue rather than closing the borders outrightly. Even, with the closure of the land borders, people will still smuggle. So, why adding to the pains of Nigerians by coming up with the policy or policies that can only aggravate the poverty in the land?”
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