Trade; local and international, must be encompassing of every factor that will make it complete. For that reason, every tie of the chain process cannot be left loosed because in the true sense of it trade is made up of vital units with valuable inputs.
When stakeholders in the haulage and logistics sub-sector called on government to factor in their operational interest as activities of the new automotive policy take shape, the motor dealers association also called for a reduction in import duty and levy; they suggested 15per cent tariff and 10 per cent levy, to make it 25 per cent as against the 70 per cent.
The motor dealers reminded government that if the suggested amount for tariff and levy were not looked into they would continue to look the other way where it favours them; diverting cargoes that ought to come to the nation’s ports to ports of other neighbouring countries.
This is just the way of trade; businesses want to make profit and also consider options that can help to sustain them over time. However, since government want to redefine the sub-sector owing to its importance to trade, it must also note the importance of not losing trade to neighbouring countries.
For operators in haulage and logistics who converged to consider the theme ‘The new automotive policy: Opportunities and Challenges for the haulage and logistics industry in Nigeria,’ it is a pro-active idea to x-ray early, the challenges they are faced with in order that the implementation programme of the new auto policy takes care of their interest with respect to the challenges highlighted.
Considering how much improved technology is put into modern trucks, the operators requested that the establishment of a truck drivers’ training institute was necessary for the overall success of the policy, bearing the fact that the drivers merely advanced from being just motor-boys who are not educated.
Just as it had been mentioned by some indigenous shippers, the haulage and logistics operators requested that in the course of implementation, provisions must be made for ‘after-sales’ service for the technical maintenance of trucks, which had resulted in additional cost through overseas training.
Being aware of the sensitivity of a policy, the association talked about the challenges of multiple taxation; levy payment for emblem from one state to another.
Talking about safety as a component of the policy, the bodies demanded that operatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) actually carry out their duty that has to do with ensuring safety on the roads.
They also noted that the concern of the sub-sector in the automotive policy would be the affordability, quality and standard of the vehicles as the imported ones, and raised concerns about how the vehicle finance scheme would benefit operators who want to patronise the made-in-Nigeria vehicles.
They however expressed reservations about obtaining loans from local banks that have not shown confidence in the locally-manufactured vehicles. At this point, it is clear that the banks need deeper understanding of the importance of their role in driving the cause. Sadly however, the National Automotive Council has gone ahead to enter an agreement with South Africa’s Wesbank.
Importantly too, the motor dealers association pointed what it considers a misfit, a situation where the local auto assembly plants also serve as marketers and manufacturing to sell just for the government on a cash and carry basis.
Obviously, if this is allowed to continue when the programme has swung into full action, then, the entire programme would be a wasted effort because the essence of the local automobile assembly plant is to ensure a well-spread service that can sustain the business based on patronage from larger society.
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