06 July 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Shipowners Association of Nigerian, SOAN, yesterday protested the high rate of 15 percent Customs duty on the importation of vessels on Nigerian flagged vessels.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting organized by the Alumni of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron, SOAN’s President Mr. Greg Ogbeifun said that it was a shame that Nigerian flagged vessels pay much more customs duty than vessels flying foreign flags that pay as little as one percent.
Ogbeifun also said the group went to the Presidential Villa last Monday to registered their protest on the issue.
Ogbeifun who described the development as unfortunate, also said that payment of higher import duty on vessels has put Nigerian ship-owners at a very disadvantaged position and given the foreigner an edge.
He explained that besides the payments of these high import duty rates, the local ship owners are inundated with payments unfavourably taxes.
He said “There is a contention between the Ministry of Transport and that of Finance, while the Transport Ministry is working towards reducing the payment of such high duty on vessels, the Finance Ministry through the Nigeria Customs Service, want to maintain the duty in a bid to meet or surpass its targeted revenue collection.
“There is a fundamental problem with the industry and we must put our fingers on the issues affecting the industry.
“Already being a Nigerian flagged vessel, you are at a disadvantage and this is not good for the industry.
“We must look into the law with regards to this issue”