Stallion ultramodern vehicle assembly plant in Lagos, Nigeria
Motor Dealers under the auspices of United Berger Motor Dealers Association (UBMDA) have explained that prices of vehicles at the car mart can only be reviewed downwards after three years especially at Berger.
This is coming few weeks after the proposal by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali(Rtd) to the federal government seeking a reduction on duty payable on imported vehicles from 35% to 10% in other to fight smuggling.
The President General of UBMDA, Metche Nnadiekwe who gave this explanation in a chat with Shipping Position Daily last week in Lagos, also frowned at the federal government for always bringing up policies without involving the stakeholders.
Explaining further, Metche who lauded the CGC for the proposal said that that some of the vehicles already at the market were purchased at a high rate and the duties were high so it will be difficult for the prices to be reviewed downwards, else the dealer will lose seriously.
“When they were talking the prices up why didn’t they think twice, now somebody went to buy the vehicles at very high rates because of increase in Dollar and duty. Now you coming to give an order that the same vehicle should be sold at a lower rate, what type of thing is that, we are doing business unless you want to send that person to the village. We should do something with human feeling like people who have a government. There are certain orders that are not good and most things they do without involving people in the industry. Before any policy is introduced they should go round and discuss with the stakeholders to know how it is going to affect them if it is introduced so that the people will not suffer. “Even if the duties on imported vehicles are reduced, the ones that are already at Berger will still be sold at the old price otherwise the dealers will lose hugely, or go back empty to their villages. Because at the end of the day you won’t have any money left for their businesses”
According to him, some vehicles stay between 6months tyo one year before they are sold and they incure some charges while at the market.
“Talking about the number of months the government should give dealers before implementing this duty reduction if approved, you see some of these vehicles can stay a year or six months in the dealers hand before it can be sold. So what I am saying is that if the government can give us at least 3years before it can be implemented so that we must have sold off the ones we have here already”
Nnadiekwe however lauded the Ali, on the move for a reduction on the duties payable on imported vehicles saying that it is a move in the right direction.
“It is welcomed idea, this is what I have been hammering ion them since, I have even discussed this with the CGC. Because when we are fighting corruption, we should try as much as possible not to create any avenue that will encourage corruption and that is one of those things. I am happy that they have realized it now, the reduction on the duty payable to imported vehicles is one of the greatest things that will happen to the automobile industry because there no money in the country. So if you take the duty up, it will affect both the system and everything that is related to the system. Now that the CGC is planning on bringing the duty down, it is one of the best things that will happen to the government if they will strictly adhere to it, they should do it without wasting time” he said.