Fashola condemns plan to increase import duties

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has condemned the plan by the Federal Government to increase duties on imported vehicles by 35 per cent, saying there is no justification for such increment.

Fashola said the increase would stifle transport operations in the country.

He spoke on Thursday during a meeting with taxi and cab operators in the state at Agidingbi, Ikeja.

At the meeting, which was attended by taxi operators across the state, Fashola lamented that the decision of the Federal Government to impose 35 per cent tariff on imported vehicles was unacceptable because of its negative impact on transport operators.

The governor said the decision of the Federal Government, under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, would hinder transport operators from acquiring new vehicles, which he said, could improve their services to residents.

He added that the Federal Government might appear to have dropped the idea, but “It only left the idea because elections are drawing closer. It will implement it if the President is re-elected.”

The governor urged the taxi operators to support the APC presidential candidate, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, and all candidates of the APC.

“We must send this administration away. When the APC takes over the government at the centre, things will change positively,” he said.

The governor at the event approved a 12-year time limit for vehicles the taxi operators wanted to purchase for the purpose of commercial transport under the new public transport management system.

He said, “The time limit is pegged at five years at the inception. But with the devaluation of naira and declining purchasing power, it becomes necessary to review the timeline from five years to 12 years due to the sharp rise in the cost of vehicles. This is the implication of worsening exchange rate.”

Fashola asked the taxi operators to observe traffic regulations and obtain roadworthiness certification, a violation of which would compel officials of the Vehicle Inspection Office and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority to enforce the traffic law against them.

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