Maritime operators express mixed feelings on vehicles’ tariffs

Whatapp News

LAGOS – Some freight forwarders and importers on Friday in Lagos expressed mixed feelings about the new tariff regime on imported vehicles.
The freight forwarders told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that while they appreciated the Federal Government’s policy, government should remove duty on new vehicles.
Mr Segun Musa, the Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, said that government’s new automotive policy was a welcome development.
“If government wants Nigeria to use brand new vehicles, it should also remove the duty on new imported vehicles.
“There should be zero per cent duty on new imported vehicles and government should also increase the duty on fairly-used vehicles.
“ We quite agree that the country is trying to have indigenous automobile productions, but for now the production cannot meet the demands.
“We still have to ensure that whatever we produce should be complemented with the vehicles we bring into the country, “ Musa told NAN.
Mr Jonathan Nicol, the President of the Shippers’ Association Lagos State (SALS), said that government had extended the commencement of the implementation of the new tariffs on imported vehicles till July.
“Government is trying to reduce the use of fairly-used vehicles in the country, but government should also allow the locally produced vehicles to pass through some tests.
“Sometimes, it takes three years to guarantee the safety of vehicles before allowing people to drive it, “ Nicol said.
He, however, urged the government not to be in a hurry to stop importation of used vehicles because the available vehicles for now would not be enough for the citizens.
Nicol said that government should grant some concessions on imported new vehicles to discourage importation of used vehicles.
Mr Kayode Oyinlola, the Tin-Can Island Port Chairman of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said that many vehicles had been abandoned in the port as a result of the new tariff policy.
According to him, the new policy will have adverse effect on customs revenue because importers will now divert their cargoes through the Cotonou port at the detriment of Nigeria.
Mr Patrick Ofeigbu, the Public Relations Officer, Caretaker Committee of NAGAFF, Tin-Can Chapter, also said that the policy would have adverse effect on passengers.
Mr Francis Okeh, a vehicle dealer at the Tin Can Port, said that the local vehicle assembly plants should be operational before the policy could be effective.
“Let the assembly plants start working. The masses are crying, the buyer, the seller and the agents.
“What we want the government to do is to consider the masses when taking decisions, “ Okeh said. (NAN)