By Godwin Oritse
CONTRARY to media reports (not in Vanguard) that the National Automotive Industry Development Plan, NAIDP, was punitive and responsible for the increase in smuggled vehicles, the National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, has said that the agency is shocked that the policy is being blamed for the increased prices of imported used vehicles otherwise known as Tokunbo vehicles.
According to the Director of Policy and Planning of the Council, Mr. Luqman Mamudu, the agency is yet to impose levy on such vehicles and as such could not have been responsible for the hike in the prices of ‘Tokunbo’ vehicles.
Mamudu who described the report as mischievous also said that on the contrary the policy is meant to give Nigerians access to cheap new vehicles through a gradual increase in volume and local content.
He added that used vehicles can only fall in the NAIDP net when cushioning programs built into the strategic plan are implemented.
He explained that the Council is concerned about the issue of smuggling because of the damage it could do to the ongoing investment in the automotive industry which government is desirous of consolidating for sustained growth.
He said “The NAIDP has not imposed levy on second hand vehicles, so it cannot be responsible for increase in their prices nor smuggling.”
“Used vehicle import can only come into NAIDP net when we have built up enough local assembly capacity and put in place a credible credit purchase scheme.’’