By Abdulaziz Salisu
The comptroller general of customs, Hameed Ali, has finally agreed to suspend mandatory duty payments for old vehicles.
Mr Ali’s decision had generated widespread condemnation, with the Senate directing him to suspend the decision and appear before it in service uniform.
The customs boss, who had not been wearing uniform since his appointment as comptroller general, met with the Senate president on Tuesday at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement by the service spokesman, Joseph Attah, on Wednesday, Mr Ali said the suspension of the planned duty payment was taken after a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly.
“Following the unnecessary tension generated as a result of misconception and misrepresentation of the Nigeria Customs Service planned motor duty payment, the leadership of the National Assembly and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) met with a view to resolving the impasse.
“They both agreed that the proposed motor duty payment, though in line with the provision of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C.45, LFN 2004 should be put on hold while the Senate Committee on Customs & Excise interfaces with the NCS for further discussions.
“While payment of duty on vehicles or indeed any dutiable imported item remains a civic responsibility of every patriotic Nigerian, NCS Management has directed that the exercise be put on hold while expressing readiness to engage the Senate Committee on further discussions to bring them on board to understand the importance of the exercise to national security and economy,” said the statement.