The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Colonel Hameed Ali (retd), on Thursday said 90 per cent of cars were smuggled into the country by unscrupulous elements.
Ali, who said this while addressing newsmen in Abuja, alleged that many vehicles on display for sale in auto shops across the country were also smuggled.
He explained that the recent raids of the various car dealers’ spots in some parts of the country were to ascertain whether the vehicles were brought in genuinely or not.
According to him, the country needs revenue for development, hence it became necessary to collect duties on those smuggled vehicles.
He said: “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.”
The customs boss said the organisation would continue to mount road block from time to time to stop vehicles to ensure duties were paid on cars.
Ali said: “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.”