It shows the President is being human and he is listening to the people because he sees that people have not really accepted it fully. That is a sign of good leadership. If people’s reaction changes tomorrow and they say yes, then the National Automotive Council can go on and implement.
Aside that, with elections around the corner, they know this is not the appropriate time to commence implementation because that could cause problem. Another reason is that we have not actually seen the locally manufactured cars on the road. When the cars are available then they can commence implementation.
The postponement shows the government is not really serious about it because it is as if they are still sampling whether it will work or not before they will impose it. To me, the implementation of the 35 per cent levy on used cars may not see the light of the day. The policy will not hold, they will still postpone it and if it stands, there will be crisis. That is why they have shifted it for more than three times in the year. Even while it has not been implemented, nothing is really happening at the port and you can see in the faces of the customs officers that it is not business as usual so what happens when it is being implemented?
I will suggest government should leave the 35 per cent levy on used cars for now and let’s see what the local manufacturers have to offer first.
The shift is a Nigerian factor. There is every tendency for people who have interest in it to go and lobby because it has not been widely accepted, and some people are still kicking against it. It is not that we will not get there, we will but it has to be a gradual process.
Nigeria is not ok yet to stop importation of used vehicles because the cars locally manufactured here are still not affordable because the economy is not favourable yet. Government should still give the local manufacturers time to see what they can produce and whether it will be affordable or not before implementation.
I think the postponement is because of the elections because right now, government has so much on its hand and they would not want to bring about this to muddle up things, so I think the shift is the best thing they should have done. After the elections, they can commence implementation and I believe it will work.
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