Business

March 12, 2014

Tokunbo imports: Freight forwarders threaten to go to N/A, court

Tokunbo imports: Freight forwarders threaten to go to N/A, court

*Tokunbo car pack (Marina), one of the works to be exhibited

BY GODFREY BIVBERE

Former Chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN, and member of the Board of Trustees, BOT, of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Tony Iju Nwabunike, has said that freight forwarders would head for the law court and the National Assembly to challenge the planned commencement of 70 percent increase on duties of imported vehicles.

Nwabunike, who spoke with Vanguard in his office weekend, explained that the new law is anti-people. He explained that claims by government that the new policy is intended to encourage local manufacturing of vehicles do not hold water as there is no real vehicle manufacturing company in the country presently. He pointed out that what is available in the country presently are vehicle assembling plants and in some cases, importers who pretend to be manufacturers.

According to him, “This morning, I heard that government is withdrawing the new tariff on Tokunbo car till July; we will take them to the National Assembly and we will take them to court. We will take it to the National Assembly and we will argue it. We are not against local manufacturing but what we are against is people maneuvering government to get the things they want to sell and manipulate the market and monopolise it. I do not want it that way. I want a situation where there is a  healthy competition.

“I challenge anybody that will come here to tell me that he is a manufacturer of automobile in Nigeria. All we have here in Nigeria are assembling plants. Assembling Semi-Knock Down, SKDs, products or Completely Knock Down, CKDs, of products is not total manufacturing of vehicles and cars. So I wonder why federal government will think of putting that 70 percent back. I agree with those who are actually agitating not to pay it and I stand by them by all means to see that it is not done.

“The Toyota will bring their manufacturing plant here, sort local materials here and manufacture cars. The Mercedes Benz, BMW and the rest of them can come to Nigeria. The federal government will help them by giving land and other infrastructure,  but  to import cars  and remove the head lamp, remove the parts and then claim to be a manufacturer  should be discouraged.