The Chairman of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Hon. Ahmed Wadada Aliyu, Tuesday criticised the reduction of tariff for importation of fairly used vehicles into the country.
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Aliyu who spoke to newsmen in Abuja claimed that the policy will lead to importation of not less than 3trillion used vehicles into the country this year.
Condemning the policy, he said it was a somersault from the recommendation of the Automobile Standing Committee set up by the federal government.
He said the Committee was set up through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to examine factors affecting local production of automobiles in Nigeria.
He accused the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Rtd Col. Hameed Ali of succumbing to the pressure from vehicle dealers who have no investments in local auto production.
The policy in tariff reduction, he said will affect PAN Kaduna Limited, which according to him has already secured a financing of $150 million for its local automobile production for three years.
He added, “The tariff portion of the Finance Bill was stepped down, but to our dismay, it was smuggled again into the Finance Bill and subsequently approved,” he stated.
“The Nigeria Ports Authority revealed in December 2020 that 13 vessels off-loaded used vehicles at the terminals. In 2020, the country imported used vehicles and motor cycles valued at N1.28 trillion.
“It means in 2021, Nigeria is likely to go berserk and triple the amount to N3 trillion. Forty per cent of the budget on importation of all manners of used cars is a direct consequence of the tariff reduction.
“The Comptroller General intends to flood Nigeria with ‘Tokunboh’ vehicles and ensure the closure of all assembly plants whereas the assembly plants have put in place a car financing scheme for Nigerians to own brand new vehicles at affordable rates.
“We strongly believe the Comptroller General succumbed to the lobby of ‘Tokunboh’ dealers who are glorified car dealers with no matching investments in local vehicle assembly, and without linkages and value chain components that can precipitate long term industrial growth of Nigerian economy.
“PAN Kaduna Limited has just been acquired and has already secured a financing of $150 million over the next three years, and the implication of this review means the imminent closure of PAN and other auto assembly plants due to misguided recommendations by the Comptroller General.
“We categorically state that this tariff review will become more detrimental to the long term competitiveness that the automotive industry must achieve if it is to play any dominant role in Africa continental free trade area.”