By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Federal Government is presently considering the option of raising the tariffs on imported used cards to enable Nigerians afford new vehicles.
This is as the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has urged the National Automotive Design and Development Council to make out a comprehensive vehicle credit purchase scheme.
The directive came against the backdrop of the Council’s plan to develop the automotive industry by reintroducing vehicle assembly operations, under the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP).
Speaking in Abuja during a briefing by the council, Osinanjo noted that “the Council bill is taking time but it should be made to work for those who cannot afford new vehicles.”
The Vice President however shared concerned about the strategy for raising funds and pressure which the importation of used vehicles exert on the foreign exchanged, also expressed concern about the effect the high import duties may have on Nigerians who cannot afford new cars and on transportation in general.
Also expressing concern about the spate of smuggling of used vehicles which has impacted negatively on the economy, he also urged the Council to work with other agencies such as the Nigeria Customs as well as a soft-ware that can check the menace.
He told the Council to put up a strong case for the credit purchase policy, the timing of the policy and the cushion effect it may have on those who cannot afford new vehicles while promising to take up the case with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Engr. Aminu Jalal, who led the delegation said the objective of the policy is to “ensure the revival, development and growth of the Nigerian Automotive industry, using local human and material resources”.
Jalal who solicited for gradual increase of tariff starting with those aged up to two years as 3 – 6 month old cars imported as used vehicles stated that the goal of the National Automative Development Policy was to increase customs revenue without increase in prices of assembled vehicles and make investment attractive and convenient.
He also expressed optimism that Nigeria will win the war against smuggling, saying that a programme would be put in place to impose protective tariff and levy as well as an electronic online solution to capture the 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) obtained by Nigeria Customs Service upon payment of Duties.