FG begins new vehicle registration system in March

From March2016_12_20_75739 next year, Nigerian vehi­cle owners will un­dergo a new registration exercise to keep their vehi­cles on the road.
The Federal Government disclosed on Monday that from March 2017 it will be­gin the enforcement of a new system of vehicle registration known as the Vehicle Identi­fication Number (VIN).
According to the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeo­sun, VIN is designed to re­duce revenue leakages and imports’ under-declaration and evasion of duty pay­ments.
At a workshop on the integration of the National Vehicle Identification Sys­tem organised by the Nige­ria Customs Service (NCS) in Abuja, the minister said that the Federal Govern­ment plans to use tech­nology to fight smuggling and increase revenue col­lection.
 In a statement made avail­able to journalists by her Me­dia Adviser, Mr. Festus Akan­bi, the minister advised the public to ensure that they ob­tain proof of customs duty payment when buying a ve­hicle to avoid being saddled with the liability of unpaid duties and related penalties.
She said: “Going forward, we are introducing a new sys­tem where all vehicles will be registered using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), effective 31st March, 2017. Customs clearance will be linked to the VIN and this in turn will be required by each state government at the point of vehicle registration.”
“Effectively, any vehicle on which duty has not been
 paid will not be able to be reg­istered and driven in Nigeria. We are using technology to make smuggling an unprofit­able venture.
“The VIN provides a form of identity for each vehicle that will be linked to proof of ownership and connected to a centralised database. An­other advantage of the VIN is that the original vehicle man­ufacturers will be aware of ve­hicles imported into Nigeria. This information is important where safety and other recalls are issued internationally. The manufacturers will now have no excuse for not extending the benefits of such recalls to Nigerian customers.
“The objective is to ensure transparency and accountabil­ity in the collection of duties; a central system for tracking all vehicles coming into Nigeria independent of point of entry, shared database for all regu­latory and enforcement agen­cies and requirements. As we expand the database to cover all cars, we will be able to tack­le car theft and non-insurance of vehicles among others,” the minister said.
Adeosun said that VIN was a collective venture by the NCS, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Federal Inland Revenue Ser­vice (FIRS). She noted that Ni­geria loses billions of naira an­nually due to the activities of smugglers.
The minister described the VIN system as a “power­ful tool against this illicit and dangerous practice, which sees stolen, accident wrecked and other unsafe vehicles brought into Nigeria,” adding that the programme is also ex­pected to boost vehicle securi­ty and the easy transfer of ve­hicles from one owner to the other.
It was not immediately clear last night if the new ve­hicle registration system will affect vehicles already in use in Nigeria or restricted to those arriving in the country from the take-off date.
Officials of the ministry approached for clarification on the categories of the vehi­cles to be affected by the new regime declined comment.
Newsmen had also inquired whether vehi­cles already in use in the coun­try would be given VIN at the point of renewal of their ve­hicle particulars upon expi­ration.
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