A group under the aegis of Shippers’ Association of Lagos State has said that Nigeria is not yet developed enough to manufacture vehicles. The President of the association, Rev Jonathan Nicole who spoke to Shipping Position Daily recently in Lagos that because importers are bringing in Complete Knock Down (CKD) components for assembly doesn’t mean that they manufacture vehicles.
“We have not been able to manufacture a spoke for bicycle and we are talking about manufacturing vehicles, let’s start with that. We are talking of a vehicle that moves with four tyres. We had Michelin and Dunlop, they were two companies that should be respected but where are they today, they are in Accra Ghana. Because the cost of doing business was high so they left. You know what, that you are bringing in Complete Knock Down (CKD) components to assemble doesn’t mean that you manufacture those things. We should be able to manufacture our engines but we don’t do that. Let’s face it, this is reality we don’t even manufacture doors, all the components are imported, so how do we now say made in Nigeria, we are deceiving the people”
“I could remember when we had good leaders, they will come into the market and pretend like a normal person that wants to buy something and have the feel of the people. That is what we think our leaders should do, they need to know the feel of the people. We are not developed enough to begin to manufacture cars in this country”, he added.
He also said that all the people bringing in CKD are short-changing the government because they pass less duty even as he said that the cars that are coupled here in Nigeria are so expensive.
“All the people that said they will do that, how many of their plants have we visited, most of them are finished goods. And they call them CKD and they pay less duty thereby short changing the government. And when they put the car together, you cannot get a car for N1million, the least they have provided they say they will sell their cars is N2.8million for a small car. How many low income earners can afford to buy such cars with his/her level of salary?
They didn’t make any provision for the low class and without the low class they will not win election. So we cannot say for now that we have what we call made in Nigeria cars. And unfortunately for the government they didn’t look at the pros and cons of these wrong policies. You are charging 70% for second-hand vehicles and they are the cheapest in Europe. The Nigerian Customs will tell you that the vehicles had accident but it didn’t touch the chassis.
Do they want the vehicle to kill someone before it can be declared as accident car? Where is the humanity in us. So let us not deceive ourselves I think the right thing is for the government to abrogate some of these policies. We cannot have the type facility we have as Nigerian ports and the country will go into recession. If you look at the Singaporean ports its not as big as Nigerian ports and they do only export. Because without these second hand vehicles Nigeria would have been shut down it is used to cloth the inability of the government. The same thing with second hand cloths i am not saying that local manufacturers should not b encouraged you have been banning this thing for over 35years and nothing has changed. In America and Britain you have different grades of goods but here SON will want everybody to buy a high grade of the produce forgetting that all fingers are not equal. That someone went for a lower grade of a product doesn’t mean it is substandard. The human aspect of what they are doing is not there. How can you render a whole NSC incapacitated they can talk even if they do no body will listen to them. They are not revenue generating agencies so they can’t say they have generated anything to the government, they are doing all they can to impress government”, he concluded.