Good afternoon my dear friends! Hope we are keeping well. I want to share my experience yesterday morning at the Abuja International Airport so you all are in the know of what is going on in our country, NIGERIA.
I arrived Abuja from London yesterday October 18, 2019, at about 4.30am with ONE pair of trainers and ONE mini boy bag bought at the duty-free shop in Heathrow (Please see pictures below). For the records, I am a banker. I am not a trader.
To my shock, Customs at Abuja airport headed by one Ms. Essien and T. Abdulrahman said these do not qualify as personal effects and calculated duty payment of about N175,000 for me to pay. Most shocking to me was that I was the only passenger on that flight BA 083 from London that was singled out for this treatment.
My question now is, what are Nigerians able to buy when they travel? Ms. Essien says that Nigerians are only entitled to N50,000 worth of goods. Everything above N50,000 is considered luxury and dutiable. I pointed out to her that someone who had shoes had just been released by the same Customs without any charge and to my shock, she said that it’s because he put his feet in it already. So, I asked her that does it then mean that all I needed to do for this trainers not to be seized by Nigerian Custom was to simply remove it from the box and wear it and it seizes to be a luxury good and duty exempt, she said “yes”. I told her that does this not then show her that this law enables her the opportunity to apply common sense when she sees Nigerians with just one trainer and one mini boy bag? She refused to answer. I asked her to allow me to put my feet in my trainers and if it’s not my size, apply duty and she refused.
Ms. Essien and Tijani Abdulrahman were so filled with hatred in such an airport that they refused to do the right thing. I was one of the first 10 passengers to disembark from the aircraft and get to Customs. I was the very last person to leave the airport after my ONE pair of trainers and ONE mini boy bag had been seized and T. Abdulrahman was done ‘punishing’ me.