By Jane Onuoha
The Association of Automobile Dealers in Nigeria have raised an alarm over the continued sealing of their business premises by the Nigerian Customs Service.
Addressing a press conference in Ikeja, the president of the auto dealers association in Lagos State, Morgan Onyebuchi Ogbede said they were very aggrieved over the harsh treatment they have experienced in the hands of the Nigerian Customs following the shutting down of their businesses for close to 2 months now.
He said the press conference which started out with a peaceful protest was to bring to the knowledge of both the federal and state governments the rate of suffering, loss of finances and hardships faced by the auto dealers, their workers and families.
At that conference, the Chairman of the Auto Dealers Association Lekki chapter, Shalom Adebayo Adenihum said the protest was to appeal to the Nigeria Customs to reopen their business premises and create a portal where they can pay online and accelerate clearance to put a stop to certain individuals short changing the government.
He urged the Customs to create a window to allow for interaction and interface between the automobile dealers and the Customs Service.
The legal adviser of the Auto Dealers Association, Monday Onyekachi Ubani noted that as peaceful and law-abiding citizens of Nigeria the protesting citizens chose to follow due processes to register their grievances hence the peaceful demonstration.
He disclosed that they have written to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs, giving him a 14-day ultimatum to unseal all the auto business premises in Lagos state to enable them carry out their lawful businesses or be ready to face a court to pay a 10 billion naira compensation for loss of businesses, physical , mental and psychological torture and trauma which the action had caused them and their families.