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Maritime lawyers kick against 15% levy on imported vehicles

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

 

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A group of maritime lawyers have opposed the introduction of 15 per cent National Automobile Council levy on imported vehicles by seeking court intervention as a way of resolving the controversy.

Recall that the Nigerian Customs Service had recently introduced a 15 per cent NAC levy on used imported vehicles, a decision which didn’t go down well with clearing agents in the country’s maritime sector.

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The agents have argued that the NAC levy is mostly meant for new vehicles, questioning the rationale behind the introduction of the duty on used vehicles.

While responding, the service, in a statement by the National Public Relations Officer, Timi Bomodi, said the move was in compliance with the Economic Community of West Africa Common External Tariff.

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But a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Jean-Chiazor Anishere, said that the imposition of the 15 per cent levy on imported vehicles was wrong.

Anishere, who is also an ex-officer member of the Nigerian Maritime Law Association, said the levy’s imposition should be restrained by a court order.

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“To me, the act of the Nigerian Customs Service is inimical to ‘having a second bite of an apple.’ It is wrong and irregular and such act should be restrained by a court order.”

On whether there are plans by the group to file a court case against the service, she said, “No plans because the NMLA needs to be approached formally.”

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Also speaking, another maritime lawyer, Alban Igwe, said although the move was geared towards supporting local vehicle manufacturers, the government was not even giving enough support to local vehicle manufacturers.

He also said that Nigerians patronized more fairly used vehicles than new ones.

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“The government would want to promote the local car manufacturing. I guess they have started by stopping the rival which is the newly manufactured vehicles, but I think it looks like Nigerians are acquiring more fairly used vehicles than the new ones. So, they knew that the competitor is not the newly manufactured vehicles, but now the fairly used vehicles, which is why they want to extend the jurisdiction to fairly used vehicles.

“Well, the implication is that if the government really wants to protect the local industry first, the government will have to support those local manufacturers so that they can manufacture at very good costs. It is the market forces that determine where you buy. If I can buy new vehicles in Nigeria from Innoson at N5m and I can buy a fairly used one at the same N5m, then I rather buy a new vehicle with a guaranty.”

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He called for more support for local vehicle manufacturers from the government, adding that by so doing, the manufacturers of new vehicles would survive.

“The government will have to support the local manufacturing industry so that they will manufacture at good costs. It should be a business model and the manufacturers will now have the means to market their products very well so that people will know what they have. And, of course, the quality of the products should meet international standards because people are not just buying to drive; they also want products that will meet the international standards.”

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Igwe said that by slamming the 15 per cent NAC levy, the government was simply forcing people to tilt towards patronizing local manufacturers.

“The moment you call something a levy, it has an implication. A market model, which is the best, means that the government should promote their local manufacturing industry so that they can manufacture at very competitive rates, and there won’t be any need for the levy. When you begin to slam a levy, it means you have removed the issue of options. So they are forcing people to tilt towards patronising local manufacturers.

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“The propensity to buy vehicles in Nigeria is increasing. Those who are importing are lamenting that the government is not subsidizing their import, which means the cost of importation is very high. If it is like that, it is going to affect the end-users. It will affect even public transport, but that market must be open. The government has not supported the transport sector. Globally, when the transport is inefficient, it affects other sectors,” he concluded.

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Sweden announces it will apply to join NATO

Sweden announces it will apply to join NATO

The Swedish government has confirmed it intends to apply for membership of Nato, joining neighboring Finland in a similar decision following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to date.

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“There is a broad majority in Sweden’s parliament for Sweden to join Nato,” said the prime minister, Magdalena Andersson. “This is the best thing for the security of Sweden and its people … We are leaving one era behind us and entering a new one.”

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Andersson told reporters after a parliamentary debate on Monday that Sweden would be “in a vulnerable position” while the application was processed, but that ministers saw no direct military threat from Russia at present.

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Before the announcement, Stockholm had received security assurances from key partners, including the US, Britain, Germany, and France, she said, and on Monday Denmark, Norway and Iceland also pledged support, saying they would “assist Finland and Sweden, by all means, necessary” if they were attacked before obtaining Nato membership.

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However, the government “can’t exclude that we will be subjected, for example, to disinformation and attempts to scare and divide us”, Andersson said, adding that if its application was approved, Sweden would not want permanent Nato military bases or nuclear weapons on its territory.

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The decisions by the two Nordic governments drew an initial response from Moscow.

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Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said the countries “should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it”, calling the move “another grave mistake with far-reaching consequences” and warning that the “general level of military tension will increase”.

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The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, later said Moscow did not see Finnish and Swedish Nato membership as a direct threat in itself. “Russia has no problem with these states – none,” Putin said.

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“And so in this sense there is no immediate threat to Russia from an expansion of Nato to include these countries,” he said. He warned, however, that deployment of military infrastructure on their territories “would certainly provoke our response”.

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The Kremlin spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, also said Moscow would “follow very carefully what will be the consequences” of the Nordic nations’ move “for our security, which must be ensured in an absolutely unconditional manner”.

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This comes after the Finnish government confirmed its intention to join Nato on Sunday, shortly before Andersson’s ruling Social Democrats abandoned decades of opposition to back a Swedish bid for membership, making Monday’s Riksdag debate a formality.

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Russia has previously advised both countries against joining Nato, saying such a move would oblige it to “restore military balance” by strengthening its defences in the Baltic Sea region, including by deploying nuclear weapons.

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“I’ve seen enough” Wofai says as she shares the phallic food she was served in Paris

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Wofai Fada has shared photos of the phallic food she was given in Paris.

 

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The actress was served a penis-shaped bun alongside the rest of her meal.

 

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Amused by the meal, Wofai wrote on Instagram: “Wetin dey really occur for the city? I’m officially done with Paris! Ive seen enough.”

 

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See below.

 

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2023: Sylva withdraws presidential bid

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has withdrawn from the presidential race in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and has returned to work.

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A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who monitored development at the ministry in Abuja on Monday reports that Sylva withdrew having considered the enormous work at hand at the ministry.

NAN reports that the Northern Solidarity Group had on May 9, presented the APC’s Expression of Interest and Nomination form to the minister to enable him to contest the party’s 2023 presidential primaries.

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An official at the ministry who chose to remain anonymous said Sylva withdrew from the race to support President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to achieve a robust oil sector.

“He promised to consult the leader of the country and his political leaders the day he was presented with the form.

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“He believes that concentrating on his work will attract more investments for the oil and gas sector.

“He has consulted and he believes that the challenges at the ministry and oil and gas sector are enough issues for him to begin to deal with now than going to pursue presidential ambition at the expense of the nation.

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“The oil and gas sector is the mainstay of the economy and it is not like any other ministry somebody can just come in and take over.

“It requires some measures of time for the person to understand what is happening in the system.

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“For the interest of the industry and the nation, he has decided to wave that personal ambition to see what he can contribute in the remaining part of President Buhari’s administration.

“The implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 is very critical and he wants to continue to make his own contribution to the day-to-day running of the country and support Mr President for robust achievements,” the official said.

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Meanwhile, Mr Horatious Egua, Senior Special Assistant to the minister on media, when contacted, confirmed to NAN that the minister was back to work. (NAN)

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