LCCI Calls For 50% Reduction Of Tariff On Imported Vehicles

A dilapidated and congested Trinity Bus stop along Apapa Oshodi expressway, Lagos

A dilapidated and congested Trinity Bus stop along Apapa Oshodi expressway, Lagos

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for a 50% urgent reduction of the duties payable on imported vehicles into the country.

The Director General of LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf who made the call in an interview with Shipping Position Daily recently in Lagos, said that the automotive policy has ended up doing more harm than good and vehicles are now very expensive.   

He also said that the policy has increased the number of rickety vehicles that are used for commercial purposes, especially on the Lagos and other major roads across the country, even as he added that the nation does not have a good mass transit or rail system to alternate these commercial buses.

Muda called for a 50% reduction on the tariffs on all commercial vehicles, whether used or new vehicles imported into the country.

He told our correspondent that: “The tariff on used vehicles should be reduced; in fact they should reduce the tariff by minimum of 50%.

Because the policy as it is, is doing more harm than good, now the new vehicles are very expensive and it has put it beyond the reach of many people; either you are talking of private car owners or commercial drivers”

“If you look at the Lagos roads now, many of these commercial vehicles are so rickety; on daily basis they have accidents because they are not road worthy, lives are lost. These people are struggling to keep these vehicles on, because they cannot afford to replace them.  And this is a country that doesn’t have mass transit; we don’t have a railways system that is working well. So a lot of people still have to use all these commercial vehicles. So my suggestion is still that they should reduce the tariff by 50% either for used cars, brand new cars or commercial vehicles, the tariffs should be reduced by 50%”.

Explaining further the LCCI boss, also said that bringing down the tariff by 50% will also help to address the issue of smuggling, and loss of both revenue and businesses.

“Because if you don’t do that, smuggling will continue to increase, customs will continue to lose revenue, Nigerians who are in the freight forwarding business will continue to lose businesses to neighbouring countries, NPA will continue to lose revenue, the concessionaires in the RORO port will also continue to lose revenue”, he argued.

Yusuf however blasted the nation’s assembly plants, saying that they don’t produce enough units of vehicles.

“And yet the so-called Nigerian cars that we say we have, they are not there and they are also very expensive. Now we say we have more production of vehicles in Nigeria, we have over 50 persons who have got car assembling licenses, but what is the total production, it is not more than 10, 000, is that assembly plant or car manufacturing?”

Speaking further, he said that the government got the idea of the automotive policy very wrong, even as he urged the government to start by empowering people to start from manufacturing spare parts.

“So the whole idea of auto policy; I think we got it completely wrong, we should start by ensuring that we build capacity to produce spare parts for all the vehicles we have on the road. All these things we are not producing now, how do you want to produce a vehicle? The other time I heard the minister talking about bringing Volkswagen to come and set up here, how can they come and set up when the total demand for new vehicles is just about 10, 000 to 15, 000 vehicles a year, that cannot sustain an automobile industry. So the policy needs to be reviewed urgently”, he concluded.