Should government ban the importation of fairly used cars?

Nigerian roads are filled with so many fairly used vehicles and because of the vision of the government on revamping the economy to boost local production,  the federal government may consider the option of placing a ban on the importation of fairly used cars better known as Tokunbovehicles. OluwatoyinAmao went to town to seek the opinion of Nigerians on the option.


In my own opinion, i think the government should not ban the importation of fairly used cars. My reasons are, firstly, for accessibility. It is good foranyone wishingto own a car, if not all but an average Nigerian man to get one;secondly for affordability reasons. It is not everybody that can afford to buy a brand new car but for a layman who could afford to get a neat fairly used car at an affordable price and can be proud that he or she owns a car; thirdly, business wise, in terms of job opportunity, someone can easily get a fairly used car and use it for commercial purposes within the community which can fetch him or her money to take care of his family.

It won’t speak well of a man to go and purchase a costly car of about two to four million naira and decide he wants to use it for commercial purpose.  Seeing such a person using such an expensive car for business will cause an alarm for abuse or insult. Fourthly, fairly used cars to some level are stronger and durable if well maintained even if it has been used abroad and sent to Nigeria with some parts damaged; after it has been repaired it looks new.

Egbeda, Lagos

I think government should ban importation of fairly used ‘Tokunbo’ cars and my reasons are in order to avoid accidents and car malfunctioning because these so-called fairly used cars might have a few faults before been sold. It will help reduce sea-port congestion and risk management. The car manufacturers will be forced to set up plants here to produce at low cost and these has its benefits. It will create job opportunities which will help boost the economy of the nation.

It should be banned to enable government focus on making the nation a market for automobile companies to invest in rather than dumping fairly used cars into it and also fairly used cars.
Kayode Abdul 
Ilorin, Kwara State

No. Government should not ban fairly used cars and i am going to summarize my reasons with these points.  What plan do we have in place if fairly used cars are banned because we don’t produce and not everybody can afford to get a new car? Do we have a structured transportation system? Check countries like United States; look at the statistics of people that drive; quite low compared to Nigeria because you can go out during weekends and board a train or other means of transport. How many civil servants can afford to get a new car? Apparently few and maybe top officials, else the government wants an increased corrupt system.
If fairly used cars are banned, that means cars are now valueless. You can’t view cars as assets anymore.It will become liability because you can’t resell at the point of need. Lastly, inflation on transport fares will drastically affect the masses, which might in turn cause bad effects to the environment and increase cases of robbery.

Olamide  Jimoh


I think every reasonable Nigeria citizen will object that motion. First and foremost, one needs to consider the average person who cannot afford the cost of a new car. Is there any provision or government effort in giving out new vehicles for citizens and allowing them to pay for some period of time? Not only that; the ordinary civil servant even in level 14 cannot afford a new car considering other bills surrounding him or her.
I consider the statement of banning the importation of fairly used cars as an overstatement because for that to happen, there must be some measures put in place to cushion the effect on the poor. This country is far from developing let alone developed.

Also, I don’t really know what reasons to want to ban importation of these cars because it has added to the economic growth of our nation. Am sure government generates income from imports. Instead of banning, I think they can work more on the quality of products coming in and as such, inferior products would be shunned because complete ban is not the solution. I don’t see any difference the importation of only new cars will do to our economy.
Segun Israel

Ilorin, Kwara State

Government should not ban the importation of fairly used cars and the reason is that it would reduce our gross domestic product (GDP) as a nation because our economy depends mostly on importation due to the lack of infrastructure development, poor power supply, management and maintenance culture we have as a nation.

When we import cars, government generate money through the duty levies and VAT paid on that car which automatically increases our GDP. Secondly, it would lead to unemployment because many Nigerians make their day to day living through the importation of the cars and thereby creating employment for people who seek to work in such companies to make ends meet.

Thirdly, how many Nigerians can afford the price of a new vehicle in this present economy of ours due to the exchange rate of the dollar to naira? The truth is that only few Nigerians can afford the price of a brand new car with a minimum wage of N18, 000 where some states can’t even pay their workers salary, so how do you expect such person to get money or time to gather money to buy a new car? I feel necessary factors and policies should be put in place before they can ban the importation of used cars in Nigeria.



Government should not ban importation of used cars because Nigeria has no facilities in place to produce good, quality and affordable cars. An average Nigerian can’t afford buying a new car, only the upper class can. So, from my own view, I see government favouring the rich if used cars are banned. Presently, there’s no possibility of any of the big automakers assembling and selling cars in Nigeria. The only car assembly factory in Nigeria does not make consumer vehicles.It has no immediate plans to do so and cannot make cars in the volume that can meet the need of one state in Nigeria, talk less of the whole nation. Fairly used cars should not be banned until government put necessary infrastructures in place.

Kareem Adegoke

Ojo, Lagos

The reason why the government want to ban importation of used cars is what I don’t understand. How many companies produce cars here in Nigeria? Just one and they are extremely expensive; people don’t purchase them because they don’t trust cars made here in Nigeria and also many people can’t afford them. I strongly disagree to this banning of importing of used cars to the country; instead government can increase the tariff on imported used cars and this additional fees can be used in developing the economy or they should reduce the price of Nigerian made cars, so people will be able to purchase them.


Personally I don’t think there should be a ban. In as much as Nigeria as a country has not gotten to the level of manufacturing our own cars. I just think measures should be taken to assess the cars coming into the country to ascertain their fitness for our Nigerian roads. So, used cars should not be banned because truth must be told; only a minute percentage of Nigerian workers can afford new ‘tear-rubber’ cars.

Jimi Adenekan

Satellite Town, Lagos

With the current economic recession faced by Nigerians, importation of any form seems not to be healthy to the economy. At the same time, we have to consider the fact that Nigeria does not have the infrastructure and materials needed to produce cars. Hence, if importations of cars are banned, Nigerians as a whole will be affected.

Peugeot and Nissan for example, assemble cars in Nigeria but do not produce. It is quite visible that these companies cannot sufficiently meet the demands of cars in Nigeria. We need more products like Toyota, Ford and so on to start producing and not just assembling. The government also need to provide a healthy environment for foreign investors. Nigeria should also empower her youth. What is the relevance of our mechanical engineers? We should stop teaching theories alone in school; we should invest in practicals to enable us discover hidden talents in our institutions. We have professors who just write research papers to climb the ladder yet no impact. If this is done, then we can stop the importation of cars and start exporting.

Victor Adebayo

Ogun State


To get a brand new car cost a fortune and even the made in Nigeria motors like Innoson, are quite expensive and they all depend heavily on the foreign exchange which of late has been a disaster. The way out for the average Nigerian to own a first car will be fairly used.Moreover banning it will mean trying to increase the rate of illegal importation.

In conclusion, the government should rather create a kind of monitoring team to check the quality of these vehicles and if government has to place a ban, then it should provide cheaper and better means of acquiring vehicles.

Hamzah Abdullah Adebola

Jalingo, Taraba State


I don’t think importation of used cars should be banned because of the exchange rate of the economy, not every Nigerian can afford expensive cars. If only Nigeria produces car, then the government can ban it.


Ojo, Lagos




Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to as the source.