[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Federal Government of Nigeria has been urged to end importation of used vehicles as way of creating enabling environment for local manufacturers to thrive.
Evans questioned the rationale behind continuous importation of used vehicles into the country, when, in his view, it is glaring that these vehicles do not only pollute the nation’s environment, but their importation will hinder local auto assemblers from growing into full manufacturing industries.
“Why bring in somebody else old cars, trucks? Why will you allow that to happen?” Evans queried, adding, “I am not questioning government policy.
“Having stayed in India where they manufacture, I wonder why Nigeria cannot do what India has done. India is doing something right that Nigeria could emulate.
”India had to ban the importation of used vehicles by imposing 300% import duties. Now they have stopped the importation of used cars. Though, they started with assembling but they are now manufacturing locally. Most of the new cars you see on the road were manufactured in India including Mercedes C Class, BMW 3-Series and even Hyundai. They all have manufacturing plants in India.”
He stressed that Nigeria with the largest population in Africa can take advantage of its big market by making the country a manufacturing hub.
” In a way,” Evans explained, “you agree with me that Nigeria should be the ultimate manufacturing hub. Boulos has taken a step in that direction with the assembly of the four wheelers.”
Evans who once lived and worked in India for seven years lamented that due to unhindered importation, lots of used cars and trucks on Nigeria roads, the nation’s roads are populated with imported used vehicle, which infuse poison into the air at the expense of brand new vehicles.
“If you look at India,” he pointed out, “you will discover zero imported used cars. If a new car is imported, the tax on it is 230%. That automatically makes it the most expensive car in the world, when it is eventually sold. Through this policy, they have developed their auto industry. Now India is the world sixth largest car manufacturer.”
While lamenting about the difficulty to source foreign exchange to get basic component to assemble, Evans urged the government to do something urgently.
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