Abuja — The Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria (AMDON) has appealed to the federal government to take a second look on the workability of the National Automotive Policy
with a view to bringing down duty payable on imported vehicles.
AMDON believes that a review of the policy and a cut on duty paid on imported vehicles would automatically encourage more people to pay their duty and equally make vehicles affordable to Nigerians.
The major thrust of the 2013 national automotive policy, an amended version of the previous one introduced in August 1993, is to encourage local manufacturing of automobile by offering protection/incentives to potential and existing local investors, while at the same time discouraging importation by raising the bar against all those who will rather export to Nigeria.
The AMDON National President, Prince Ajibola Adedoyin, who briefed journalists in Abuja yesterday, commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) for the recent seizures of arms and ammunition smuggled into the country.
"We wish to use this opportunity to state that the genesis of this whole crisis is the automotive policy which has made customs duty and levies to be raised to a level where people felt short-changed in an effort to make imported fairly-used vehicles popularly known as tokunbo unaffordable in a bid to force people to patronise the so-called assembled in Nigeria cars.
"We therefore call on the executives and legislators to take a second look at the workability of this policy and bring down the amount of duty on imported vehicles as this is the only permanent solution to this issue," Adedoyin said.
He called on the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for another opportunity to allow his members to submit all undutied vehicles in their car park for duty payment.
His appeal followed the current clampdown on undutied vehicles at various car stands across the nation by the customs, and in some instances the Nigerian Army.
Adedoyin, who lamented the hardship suffered by his members since the inception of the crackdown which has seen over 400 vehicles seized across the country, said the action had created a serious panic and market destabilisation with grave consequences on businesses.
The NCS had earlier this year given a six-week grace to car dealers who were yet to pay duty on their vehicles to do so.
At the expiration of the window period, the service swung into action and started impounding exotic vehicles, including bullet proof cars.
While acknowledging the magnanimity of the CG towards the association, Adedoyin who said that the time given to them to comply was too short, and sought the generosity of the CG and his management team
for another opportunity for all members to submit all undutied vehicles in their stand for duty payment