Some Nigerian customs agents have kicked against a new charge of N4,600 imposed by the Lagos State government on all imported vehicles coming out of ports in the state, Vanguard reports.
Known as the Temporary Vehicle Tag, TVT, the charge was introduced by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation; Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, MVAA.
Vanguard gathered that this development is generating tension as port users and vehicle importers have vowed to resist the introduction of the new charge.
It was also gathered that the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has reportedly linked TVT payment to the Terminal Delivery Order, TDO, and directed terminal operators not to release any vehicle without evidence of payment.
Confirming the development, the Managing Director of the Lagos State Wharf Landing Fee Collection Authority, Mr. Gboyega Savaldor said the introduction of the charge is for the security of everybody living in Lagos.
Savaldor also said the new charge will check the use of unregistered vehicles by dealers who sometimes use these categories of vehicles for criminal purposes.
Savaldor also disclosed that after payment of N4,600, the clearing agents would be issued a sticker that would be placed on the vehicle. This allows the vehicle to be driven within Lagos for the period of one month.
Reacting to the development, clearing agents at the port lamented that they were being overtaxed by the Lagos Government because already, Wharf Landing Fees are being collected on all cargoes, including vehicles.
Salvador however said: “The Wharf Landing Fee is being operated under a law. The money collected is not for Lagos State Government, it is to assist the operators. The Lagos government is inconveniencing itself to do this, the money is being collected to eradicate area boys harassing truck drivers on Lagos roads, and the money is shared among local government areas” he said.
But the Youth Leader of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at Tin Can Island Port, Comrade Remilekun Sikiru counted Salvador, saying that the Lagos State Government first came to the port in December 2022 and claimed that the TVT would replace the Wharf Landing Fees.
“They came around last year around December, they claim this will replace the Wharf landing payment, I called and spoke with the coordinator whose phone was on the flyer, he told me that with the sticker which cost about 4,600 the vehicle can be driven within Lagos for the period of one month
“I told him this sticker should be directed to the dealers who take their vehicles around before they are sold.
“The truth remains that they want to take advantage of the fact that lots of vehicles come out of the port and want to compel the clearing agents to make this payment, furthermore they will begin operation with task force to enforce payment for the sticker” he said.
He added that “They have been forcing terminals to include TVT receipt and confirmation as part of the documents for TDO (Terminal Delivery Order).”
Another Customs agent, Emeka Mba, General Manager, Zenith Customs Brokers said that the introduction of the new charge will be resisted adding that there are some charges with no services rendered.
Reacting to the development at the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, the port economic regulator told our Correspondent that the Council is not aware of the introduction of the charge.
Speaking to Vanguard, Chief Agu Cajetan, Director, Consumer Services of the NSC said that the Council still views the development as a rumour adding that until the affected people come with their complaints.
He said: “We are not aware of the development, we have heard it like a rumour, and we are waiting for complainants to come forward. This is a country where anybody can wake up in the morning and impose any charge without recourse to the Nigerian Shippers Council.”