Lagos — The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, NCMDLCA, has called for a review of the nation’s auto policy with a view to growing the economy.
In a petition titled, “The need to review the automotive policy in line with the present impact on the economy and international global automotive standard”, the National President of the group, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, said that the policy has resulted in huge revenue loss to Customs on import duty.
According to him, there has been a massive increase in smuggling due to high demand of used motor vehicles in the country as a result of non-availability of affordable locally made vehicles.
He explained that the petition became necessary following the high cost of purchase of used vehicles in the country due to the increase of tariff from previous duty rate of 5%, to the present rate of 35% – 70% on all imported vehicles where neighbouring countries’ rates are far lower.
Amiwero explained that the policy has also brought about a reduction of the maritime work force by 70%, as jobs of licensed Customs agents, importers, dealers have been lost to ports of neighbouring countries.
He disclosed that even terminal operators have also been impacted negatively by the development as their activities have also reduced by 40%.
He said, “Ghana complies with global automotive industry standard by the graduation of the automotive import on the bases of cubic capacity from 5% for 1.6 cc, 10% exceeding 1.6 to 3000 cc 20% for motor cars. The Nigeria Duty rate from 35%-70%
“For vehicles designed to carry 30 or more (commercial luxury bus) Ambulance, hearse, pedestrians control tractors, special purpose vehicles, workshops vans, break down vehicles, mobile show room, track-laying tractors and other motor vehicles, which stabilizes to construction industry, mechanical, the movement of mass transit and goods attracts Import duty of zero O%,(percent,while the Nigeria import duty rate is 35%.
“Ghana automotive policy is geared towards developing an efficient transport sector for the movement of persons and goods, which is the engine of growth, while Nigeria is disadvantage on the auto policy that encourage high tariff cost and lack of mass transit system, non-affordability and availability of the local assembled vehicles.
“The Nigeria auto policy has witnessed policy summersault right from inception in Feb.2014 and serious negative impact to the transport sector and the economy, which call for urgent review to address the gaps.
“We request for a total review of the auto policy to address the shortfall inherent in the implementation of the policy that affects the economy, so as to unemployment, non-affordability of the local domestic production, non-availability of the Local Domestic production, high tariff the highest in the sub-region, diversion of vessels to other West African States.’’