The Nigerian government has unveiled plans to end the smuggling of vehicles into the country through the National Vehicle Registry Policy, VREG.
VREG integrates vehicle data across several agencies, including the Nigeria Customs Service, Vehicles Inspection Offices, the Police, National Central Vehicles Data, and of the Federal Road Safety Corps’ database.
Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Wale Edun, assured participants at the VREG Zonal Sensitization Campaign in Abuja on Tuesday that the initiative would curb customs duty evasion by vehicle importers.
Edun stressed that his ministry is saddled with the responsibility of managing the nation’s finances and revenue streams.
He said, “The Federal Ministry of Finance is saddled with the responsibility of managing the nation’s finances and revenue streams.”
“In the midst of dwindling revenue orchestrated by falling oil prices and mono-economy further worsened by revenue leakages from unplugged loopholes such as customs duty payment evasion, it became imperative that government provided effective responses to these issues. Furthermore, the absence of a dynamic and centralised platform for national vehicular information, despite Nigeria being the largest importer of vehicles in Africa with an additional 15 million vehicles operational in the country.”
“This huge vacuum had sustained the menaces of customs duty evasion, paucity of data for vehicular policy formulation, nationwide vehicle administration for revenue leakages, vehicle theft and vehicle-related crimes, challenges in road traffic regulation enforcement, limited access to credit facilities and ineffective vehicle insurance coverage and monitoring and evaluation.”