From all indications activities in the ports especially, vehicle importation have stepped-up from what it is used to be as the year is gradually coming to an end.
When Shipping Position Daily visited one of the top vehicles handling terminal, in Nigeria; the Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML) last week, so many vehicles of different brands, years and models were seen living the port.
It was also observed that most of the vehicles leaving the ports were mostly damaged vehicles.
One of the clearing agents; Mr. Tochukwu Nwaigbo, told our correspondent that it is always like that whenever the end of the year approaches, even as he added that the level of importation this year is on the increase compared to what they had last year during the time of recession.
“In all fairness, importation this year is a bit on the high side compared to what we observed last year when the nation was on the peak on recession . As you can see now most vehicles coming in here are damaged, but they also provide jobs for artisans of different levels and professions. The agents are busy too with some works, so it is a good thing for the industry and the nation at large”
Nwaigbo attributed the improvement on the number of imported vehicles coming into the country to the stability in the exchange rate.
“You will observe that for some time now, the Dollar rate has been stable at N360 per Dollar and this has helped a lot in the prices of all these vehicles. At least an importer can now plan and know what he is expected to pay as duty in a vehicle unlike when you vehicles will still be on the way to Nigeria and the rate of Dollar suddenly changes, thereby making it very difficult for you to plan yourself”
“If the rate can remain like this, we don’t have problem and it will even help to reduce the issue of smuggling. Some of these smugglers have intentions of doing genuine business but because of this Dollar issue they will choose to smuggle. How will you explain someone whose cargo is already on the way to Nigeria and the rate of N360 per Dollar and before the person gets to Nigeria the rate has moved to like N380, the additional cost was not planned for. You find out that the person at the end of the day will be looking for a way of cutting corners and my end up not paying his full duty. But if the Dollar is stable, the person can plan on how much he will pay when the vehicle gets to Nigeria”, he concluded.