The Nigerian Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA) has decried the recent change in fiscal policy announced by the Minister of Finance on the age limit of used vehicles to be imported into the country.
Finance Minister, Olusegun Aganga, had announced recently that second-hand automobiles would continue to come into the country provided they are not older than 15 years. This, the association noted was contrary to an earlier policy which puts the age limit for imported used car at eight years and none for commercial motor vehicles.
In a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Arthur Madueke, NAMA, said the negative impact of the policy shift on the economy would outweigh the short term benefits and therefore called for stricter control of the inflow of the vehicles. The association said the resultant effect of the increase in age of such vehicles would be the importation of motor vehicles, which could no longer satisfy the emission standards in their country of origin, and which would now add to Nigeria's environmental problems as well as drain the country's resources, which would have been used in other enterprising sectors, with high yield returns on employment and rapid industrialization.
The association noted that the useful age of a car is estimated at nine years, adding that subsequent use of such a car after this period would be inefficient and not cost effective, noting that the advocacy for limiting the age to eight years was borne out by technical and economic facts, while also canvassing that the age limit for commercial motor vehicles should be pegged at 10 years.