Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria has said that the ban on importation of vehicles above seven years cannot work due to poverty in the land.
The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.), while defending the agency’s budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise, on Tuesday, had revealed plans by the NCS to ban the importation of vehicles that are older than seven years.
Reacting to this on Wednesday, the National President of AMDON, Mr Ajibola Adedoyin, expressed disappointment in the move by the service, describing the policy as dead on arrival.
He wondered how many Nigerians could afford vehicles below seven years of manufacture.
“I can tell you authoritatively that such policy cannot work. I can also tell you that the CG of Customs knows that such a policy cannot work. I can say this to his face.
“From what the CG of Customs said yesterday, it means they are trying to work on a policy that will ban the importation of vehicles not made before 2014/2015 because we are now in 2021. How many Nigerians can afford such vehicles? Are we not going back to the reasons the National Automotive Policy failed?” he stated.
He urged the government to make locally-produced vehicles accessible to Nigerians, to boost local vehicle productions.
“Ensuring local production of vehicles does not stop people from accessing a necessity such as vehicles. If you want to make local production thrive, you will design the kind of vehicles that will be accessible and affordable to the people. Not that you will be assembling expensive vehicles that sell around N7 million locally and you will be claiming to want to improve local production of vehicles. How many Nigerians can afford N7 million vehicles?
“Go and read about Indian automobile history, they started with vehicles that were within the range of all its citizenry. We should stop deceiving ourselves in this country,” he added.
According to him, the Customs CG has no control over the rise of dollar or other exigencies attached to vehicle importation.
“If government wants Nigeria to be producing vehicles, tell me, of what use is the National Automotive Design and Development Council? Is the Council not supposed to sit down and design a vehicle that will be affordable to all Nigerians?
“Nigeria, for now, cannot afford very expensive vehicles. Even if the government is giving out loans of N6m to everybody, how many can comfortably use such a loan to buy a vehicle of N5m or even N4m? It is high time we stopped fooling ourselves in this country,” he said.
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