Few days after the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) proposed higher import tariff of 100 per cent on Fully Built Units (FBUs), and 125 per cent on used cars, a maritime lawyer, Emmanuel Nwagbara has faulted the proposal, saying that it is what you get when wrong people are put in places of decision making.
Nwagbara who said this in a chat with Shipping Position Daily last week in Apapa, maintained that with the proposal coming from the NADDC, it means that the council is working at a cross purpose with the government and even the people.
It will be recalled that Mr. Farouk Umar, Director, Policy and Planning, NADDC unveiled the proposal in Abuja at the Stakeholders’ Review on Draft Automotive Policy and Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), while listing some proposed amendments.
The stakeholders’ dialogue was organized by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, in conjunction with the NADDC to gather stakeholders input for a comprehensive review of the draft bill. The Draft Automotive Bill was passed by the National Assembly in 2018 and presented to the Presidency for consideration and assent, but was returned to NADDC due to several issues raised by key stakeholders.
Reacting to this, Nwagbara reiterated that increasing tariff on imported vehicles will make cars very expensive and out of reach of the common man.
“On the increment of tariff on used vehicles, that will mean that the council is working at a cross purpose with the government and even the people. Because while the customs have proposed that the tariff on new cars be reduced from 70% to 35%, the NADDC is talking about increasing tariff on used vehicles. That thing will make the vehicles to be more expensive, what other alternatives do they have on ground, do they appreciate the suffering of Nigerian. So when you put the wrong people in places where decisions are taken that will be the outcome.
You will see all sorts of policy changes that will be adverse to the interest of the people. People in authority should look at the common man and base their decisions from bottom up and the not the other way round”
Nwagbara also said that the proposal does not represent the aspirations of a common Nigerian.
“So when people look at their high positions and set standard of things from the height of their seats you will find out that they are not working in line with the aspirations of the people. So those who are proposing that height will bear in mind that an average Nigerian today cannot afford a new vehicle and that we all need vehicles that Nigerians can afford to move around with right now. And that every policy not just automotive, every policy should be people’s friendly” he concluded.