A group, the Advocacy for Maritime Development Association of Nigeria (AMDAN), has decried the increase in duty on imported used vehicles manufactured in 2012 and demanded that it should review the policy upwards to include those manufactured in 2013.
It also urged the Federal Government to reduce the age limit for imported used vehicles to 2010 to enable Nigerians in the middle class to afford cars. It would be recalled that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) announced changes in the age limit of vehicles being imported into the country from 15 years to 12 years, warning that any importer vehicles older than 12 years would be impounded.
President of AMDAN, Oluwasegun Alabi, stated this while fielding questions from journalists during a roundtable of the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) in Lagos, saying the system had put most importers out of business as most Nigerians could not afford such vehicles due to their exorbitant prices.
He noted that in the past weeks it has been difficult, especially for those still bringing in underage vehicles, which the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy does not recognise any vehicles manufactured before 2013, The Trumpet gathered.
“If you bring in a 2008 vehicle and in the VIN, the minimum age starts from 2013, you will pay 2013 duty for a 2008 vehicle.
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That is the problem we are still having, because there is no place for 2008 vehicles on the VIN platform, hence they still need to get manual valuation, which is not good,” he said.
He disclosed that the group has sent its position paper to the Federal Government on the need to ensure that underage vehicles get the right duty. Alabi charged the government to reduce the age limit of imported fairly used cars to 2010 due to the high cost of the locally manufactured cars, as well as urged the government to provide a level playing ground for e imported and locally manufactured vehicles for members of the public to make their choice base on their purchasing power.
Alabi also frowned on the level of preparedness of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) towards the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) agreement, saying the agency was not ready yet for the initiative.
Meanwhile, he also decried the lack of sustainable policies and legislation on indigenisation of the freight forwarding sector, as well as government’s support, which he said, have given room for foreigners to dominate the business, while locals were being sidelined.