Friday, 6 June 2014

The Motor Dealer, The Buyer and The Custom Service

Imagine this scenario: you are travelling with your family in your newly acquired tokunbo car while enjoying the countryside. All of a sudden you are flagged to a stop at a Customs checkpoint. You are requested to produce the car documents which you confidently proffered. . to your utter dismay and horror the document are said not to be in order. You are told that your car was not processed legally. Despite your pleadings that your car is bought at a dealer’s forecourt it is impounded. Your journey is rudely cut short and you and your family left stranded. The above scenario plays out in one form or the other every day on our highways. Meanwhile the numbers of motor car dealers continue to increase daily. However, the argument remains that with the open display of Tokunbo cars on the dealer’s forecourts why do the Custom Service turn a blind eye only to embarrass defenseless buyers of such cars. 

Methinks the Custom Service will do well to impound these cars while they are still in the possession of such car dealers and not wait till a car is bought before swinging into a belated action. If an illegal product is being sold openly the onus lies on the concerned agency to arrest the seller and not wait till it was bought before doing the needful. Whatever the anomaly observed by the Customs it should be solved at the dealers’ and not subjecting the unwary buyer to unnecessary hassles after purchase. 

Come to think of it, what are the Customs doing in the towns instead of the International borders? If such unusual efforts and industry on the part of the Customs was put into policing our borders these cars would not have entered the country in the first place. I tried to check the papers of a car at the customs office before purchase only to be directed to the local airport where they demanded N5000 just to check the custom duty status of a car. This is not good enough. It is not encouraging people to know the status of car's duty before purchase. The appropriate authority should up to their duties.

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