The National Association of Automobile Marketers (NAAM) has alleged that the Nigerian Customs are deliberately clamping down on their businesses in a bid them to force them out of the market.
The association alleged that since last month, men of the Nigeria Customs Service have carried out a wholesale clamp down on automobile dealerships nationwide with the sealing of all their members’ premises without a court order.
In a statement by the association’s Secretary, Joseph Iriah, the association said that “since September 28, when some of our members engaged the Nigerian Customs Services, they were informed that the exercise was carried out with a view to ascertain if smuggled vehicles were in the respective premises and that within a few days the issue would be resolved.
“After the verification of the importation documents of the automobiles in the sealed premises, as we speak the siege has entered its fourth week, thereby occasioning untold financial loses and severe hardship for not just us, the auto dealers, but for the thousands of Nigerians employed in our businesses.
“We have noted over time that the comptroller-general of customs appears to be zealously committed to improving the revenue generating capacity of the service.
“We however, have grave reservations as to the legality of this present action. While we have in the last three weeks been engaged in dialogue with the customs authorities, we have noted that our reputation as responsible corporate citizens of this country is being impugned and scandalized; no thanks to the prolonged closure
of our business premises,” Iriah said.
The association appealed to the federal government and the National Assembly to come to their aid and prevail on the customs to rescind its action and desist from carrying out such unlawful closure of businesses.