Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS),said that over 90 per cent of cars in the country were smuggled in.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the Customs boss said the country needs revenue for development and the raids carried out at various dealer shops were to ascertain whether the vehicles were brought in through legal means.
He further added that the Government’s decision to bring development in all parts of the country led to the raid which is aimed at collecting duties on smuggled cars.
“We want to use this opportunity to ensure that cars within our borders are fully customised, which means duties are paid on them.
”We are looking for revenue from everywhere and we have these people who brought in vehicles and failed to pay duties.
“What we are doing now, we are just enforcing the law, which allows us to collect revenue on behalf of Nigeria and also ensure those vehicles you and I will go and buy have genuine papers that are roadworthy.
“If you meet our officers on the road and they ask for the papers, if they discover you have not paid your duties, they will seize the vehicles.
“We are doing all these to save car buyers from running into trouble,” he explained.
He also said that Custom officials will be mounting road blocks to ensure the import duties are paid on time.
“The law allows us to stop you and ask for the car papers, if your papers are intact, we thank you and bless you, if it is otherwise, we will ask you to pay the duties.
“If we find out you are not a smuggler, you are just an innocent buyer, we will value the car and ask you to pay the required duties on the car and you will be freed,” he said.