Stakeholders in the maritime industry, especially vehicles clearing agents and dealers have attributed the high percentage of damaged vehicles imported into the country to the duty rebate on these vehicles.
Investigations by Shipping Position Daily recently has also shown that over 70% of used imported vehicles imported into Nigeria from continents like Asia, Europe and America are either accidented or were ravaged by flood.
The trend could also be said to be encouraged by the failed automobile policy which gave room to high duty rates on imported vehicles.
Mr. Timothy Nwaigbo, a clearing agent who operates at the Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML) told our correspondent last week that imported damaged vehicles are now the order of the day in the two major terminals at Tin Can Island ports.
Also speaking, a member of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Mr. Ifeanyi Emoh, said that Nigerians imported rickety vehicles from all over the world just because they want to enjoy duty rebate and because of the economy of the country.
Meanwhile, a dealer at the Berger automobile market, Mr. Chinonso Amariwu, said that most vehicle dealers prefer to buy accidented vehicles, repair them and sell.
“Here in Berger, most dealers prefer to buy accidented vehicles, repair them by themselves before selling, because it is cheaper and you can ascertain the level of the damage on the vehicle”, he explained.
It will be recalled that the Managing Director of Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML), one of the biggest Roll On-Roll-Off (RORO) vehicle terminal in Nigeria, Terminal, Mr Tunde Keshinro once warned that the continuous importation of accidented and flood-ravaged vehicles could have an environmental effect.
“We should address our mind to the fact that these old vehicles add to the environmental issues, we are in the age of climate change and we must as a country be concerned about the quality of vehicles we are bringing into our environment, noting fully well that the projection of the government is to promote a sustainable environment, so we much achieve balance, we should not just be imposing duty and tariffs without being mindful of how it affects our collective well being” he had said.