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Govt introduce plan to stop vehicle smuggling

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By Abdulwasiu Usman

VREG leveragess VIN to keep track of each vehicle in the country.

As part of its plan to eradicate smuggling of vehicles into the country, the Nigerian government has introduced an innovative plan, the National Vehicle Registry Policy (VREG) to curb the illegal act. This revolutionary system incorporates comprehensive vehicle information from various governmental bodies, such as the Nigeria Customs Service, Vehicles Inspection Offices, the Police, National Central Vehicles Data, and the Federal Road Safety Corps’ vast database. This initiative would put an end to custom duty evasion among vehicle importers, as stated by Wale Edun, the Minister for Finance and Coordinating the Economy, during the VREG Zonal Sensitisation Campaign held in Abuja.

According to him, the task of overseeing the nation’s financial matters and revenue sources falls upon the Federal Ministry of Finance. At this stage, the government must act swiftly and effectively to address these challenges related to the sharp decline in revenue such as the plummeting oil prices and the worsened state of the mono-economy due to unchecked customs duty payment evasion and other revenue loopholes. Also, the lack of a dynamic and centralized national vehicle information platform further adds to the woes.

Nigeria lacks a comprehensive vehicular database.

Despite having the highest number of imported vehicles in Africa and a staggering figure of 15 million operational vehicles within the country, Nigeria currently faces a significant void as it lacks a comprehensive vehicular database. The immense void faced by the system was the result of various issues like evading customs duties, insufficient data for policy-making concerning vehicles, widespread administration loopholes leading to revenue loss, rampant vehicle theft and crime, difficulties in enforcing road traffic regulations, inadequate access to credit facilities, and ineffective vehicle insurance coverage, and monitoring and evaluation.

Since its inception in 2021, VREG has yielded numerous advantages for the registry. One notable benefit is its role in reducing the avoidance of customs duty administration.
Edun stated that VREG has successfully united with the significant stakeholders present at the event, thereby fostering instant and versatile information exchange. VREG leverages Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) to keep track of each vehicle in the country. This centralized database keeps a meticulous record of critical details, including specifications, ownership, and complete historical data for every vehicle in Nigeria.

Smugglers exploit hidden routes and unauthorized passages.

Vehicular data of all imported vehicles is efficiently stored and curated through the VREG platform’s connectivity with various global VIN databases and vehicle history repositories. VREG’s association with various stakeholders like NCS, NAICOM, VIO, CBN enable it to provide duty payment validation, vehicle ownership documentation, vehicle insurance validation, asset assessment for the moveable asset registry, and vehicle history reporting. Duty evasion stands as one of the major reasons behind the illicit practice of vehicle smuggling.

Numerous Nigerians attribute the mounting customs duty expenses as a primary motive fueling the choice of cheaper methods by car dealers to purchase and sell vehicles in the Nigerian market. Most times, smugglers exploit hidden routes and unauthorized passages to elude scrutiny and detection by the government authorities. Another alternative method involves disassembling the vehicles into individual components and subsequently conveying them in smaller fragments to traverse the border. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data shows that Nigeria has steadily imported around 400,000 vehicles within the span of 2015 to 2020. A significant proportion of these vehicles, approximately 40 percent, are illicitly smuggled into the country on a yearly basis.

Government has intensified their efforts in recent years.

Nonetheless, the Nigerian administration has in recent years intensified their efforts to combat vehicle smuggling and introduced more stringent protocols to curb the practice. Months ago, the Nigeria Customs Service reported a successful interception of a vast collection of 100 automobiles. Among these vehicles were an array of Sport Utility Models, with 38 of them having been relinquished to the Federal Government. Customs Service also urged all stakeholders to collaborate closely with its officers and personnel in order to successfully combat the issue of illegal vehicle smuggling into the country.


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AN-Toni
Editor
2 months ago

Govt introduce plan to stop vehicle smuggling. – VREG leveragess VIN to keep track of each vehicle in the country. – Express your point of view.

SarahDiv
Member
2 months ago

The introduction of the National Vehicle Registry Policy (VREG) is a positive step in addressing challenges related to customs duty evasion, insufficient data, and revenue loss. It’s encouraging to see the government leveraging technology, using Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) to create a comprehensive database. The efforts to combat vehicle smuggling are crucial for economic stability and enforcing regulations. However, continuous collaboration and effective implementation will be key to ensuring the success of this initiative.

Adeoye Adegoke
Member
2 months ago

That’s some exciting news! I think the government’s plan to combat vehicle smuggling by leveraging VINs is a smart move. VINs, or Vehicle Identification Numbers, are unique identifiers assigned to each vehicle. By using VINs to keep track of vehicles in the country, it becomes easier to monitor their movement and ensure that they are not involved in any illegal activities.
This plan can have several positive impacts. Firstly, it can help curb vehicle smuggling, which not only has economic implications but can also contribute to other criminal activities. By having a centralized system to track vehicles, authorities can quickly identify any suspicious or stolen vehicles, making it harder for smugglers to operate.
Additionally, leveraging VINs can enhance overall vehicle security and safety. If a vehicle is reported stolen or involved in any criminal activity, law enforcement can promptly trace it using the VIN. This can aid in recovering stolen vehicles and apprehending those responsible.
Moreover, this plan can have a positive effect on the economy. Vehicle smuggling can lead to a loss of revenue for the government and legitimate businesses. By cracking down on this illegal practice, the government can ensure that taxes and duties are properly collected, benefiting the economy as a whole.
Overall, I believe that the government’s initiative to utilize VINs for tracking vehicles is a commendable step towards combating vehicle smuggling. It has the potential to enhance security, reduce criminal activities, and boost the economy. Kudos to the government for taking proactive measures to address this issue! 🚗🔒

Kazeem1
Member
2 months ago

Tracking every car in the nation by utilizing the (VIN) through VREG is a wise decision. Protecting the interests of the country and its residents is something the government is doing proactively by putting such measures into place.

Taiwo
Member
2 months ago

Government unveils strategy to halt car smuggling. – Every car in the nation is tracked by VREG using VINs. Regarding the National car Registry Policy (VREG), the government’s initiative to combat car smuggling is much appreciated. Addressing the issue of tariffs avoidance and developing an extensive vehicle database require taking this important step.The government can guarantee proper collection of taxes and duties by taking strong action against this illicit behavior.