Frank Ukor (AREFFN)
I know the federal government the other time made some policies but that didn’t work well at all. At least we should have been seeing some assembly plants to know that we can be able to manufacture our own cars but we are not seeing anything. The government ended up frustrating a lot of indigenous car assembly companies like the Innosson vehicle assembly plants. Instead of encouraging people to start assembling plants in Nigeria they are frustrating the people who are producing in Nigeria. The government is not making any efforts towards promoting made in Nigeria vehicles.
Muda Yussuf (LCCI DG)
The Automotive Policy which was decreed by the Jonathan Administration in 2013 is long overdue. Six years after, the policy has not only failed to achieve the desired outcomes, it has adversely impacted the cost of doing business, welfare of the people, government revenue and the capacity of the economy to create jobs. It has caused massive trade diversion to neighboring countries. High compliance cost has put enormous pressure on firms moving them into uncompetitive positions in the face of weak institutional capacity to enforce the extant tariff regime.
The cost of vehicles had risen beyond the reach of most citizens and corporate bodies. The impact has been negative with far reaching consequences. The automobile sector was hit by the double shock of currency depreciation [by over 80%] over the last six years and an import duty hike to 70% on new cars and 35% on used vehicles and commercial vehicles.
Obinna Okafor (Chairman NAGAFF, Ikorodu)
When we look at the auto policy, the truth is that, there is high cost of vehicles and this has affected the economy from the logistics cost and welfare point of view, because over 90% of the country’s freight and human movements are done by road, which implies heavy dependence on cars, commercial buses and trucks.
Stanley Ezenga (PRO NAGAFF)
There is a bill before the National Assembly which the Presidency rejected, which could have helped local manufacturers, the way it should be is that the old vehicles should pay higher duties while the new ones should pay lower. So I believe the government should look at this bill again and ensure that there are ways we can support the local manufacturers
George Okafor (NAGAFF)
Well the policy is on the imported new vehicles mainly which are paying 70%, that is 35% duty and 35% levy that is where it is effective. I don’t even know the money they are collecting if they are using it to go on with the policy. Because the reason is to create money from that area to use it and furnish the automobile policy so that there would be reduction on imported vehicles into the country and increase made in Nigeria vehicles. I am not sure that they are following up the policy but I know that the issue of levies they are collecting on new vehicles are still on and the levy they are still collecting on vehicles that have not gone beyond 30, 000 millage is still on. On the issue of making efforts towards promoting made in Nigeria vehicles I don’t think they are doing enough.
Barrister Emmanuel Nwagbara (Lawyer)
I think we have been talking on this auto policy for long and nothing has changed from what it has been and all the recommendations we have made I believe the government should be looking at them but we have not seen implementation. We still repeat that we need an enabling environment for that and we need that auto manufacturing companies should be encouraged in a special way. We need all the support in a including a vehicles testing laboratories for them to measure and test qualities. All these should not be left for individuals alone the government should come in where necessary by the way of creating enabling environment for the auto business to thrive. So all that we have been saying is still the same because the situation is still the same we have not seen any remarkable change as far as auto policy is concerned.
Yinka Bakare (NAFFAC)
I have not seen any seriousness on that policy by the federal government, the auto policy has not been yielding any fruit and I think they need to be more proactive on that by encouraging more automobile production and providing conducive atmosphere for the policy to work. If not, the policy will not work. But for now he policy is not working as expected.
Remi Ogunmefun (Immediate Former MAN DG)
We don’t have a new policy, but the old policy is more or less geared towards encouraging local assembly and I think we are doing well there and presently they are assembly Toyota in Nigeria today and the automobile companies are coming on stream and I believe we can do better. But the problem is that up till today most of the components of assembling these vehicles are still being imported and that is the problem, but if we start manufacturing these components in Nigeria we will be able to produce in Nigeria completely.