The Federal Government has said importers of vehicles at the country’s gateways spent $31.67 billion (about N6.3trillion) on vehicles’ imports and other motorised equipment between 2009 and 2013.
This was contained in a data issued by the National Automotive Council (NAC) and presented by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Abuja.
The amount was spent on importation of vehicles, tractors, trailers and semi-trailers, civil engineering and contractors’ plant and equipment.
A breakdown of the figure shows that the country spent $5.407billion in 2008; $4.012billion in 2009; $5.592billion in 2010; $4.082billion in 2011; $6.364billion in 2012 and $6.212billion in 2013 on the importation of these items.
A further breakdown shows that about 100,000 new and 300,000 used vehicles were imported into the country in 2012, excluding tractors, trailers and semi-trailers, civil engineering and contractors plant and equipment.
Based on this huge spending on vehicles importation, the Federal Government under former President Goodluck Jonathan introduced the National Automotive Policy to encourage local production of vehicles. It also imposed 35 per cent duty and 35 per cent levy on imported new and used vehicles to discourage importation.
The policy has, however, failed due to a huge gap in market demand and local production, thereby promoting smuggling of vehicles into the country.
Major maritime stakeholders have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to jettison the policy due to the rise in vehicles smuggling at the country’s borders.
Records show that vehicles importation through the nation’s seaports reduced has reduced by more than 60 per cent this year prompting major roll-on-roll-off (RORO) terminals to reduce their staff strength.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.