Car Dealers Cry Out Over Proposed Ban

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The Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria, AMDON, has called on the federal government to reconsider the ban on cars through the land borders with effect from January 2017.

The association said such moves would result in chaos in the country’s transportation sector, massive job loss as well as loss of revenue by the government

A statement by the Nigerian Customs Service in November had notified Nigerians that government will commence full enforcement of the ban on the importation of vehicles through the country’s land borders.

The statement urged dealers to do round up all their import activities through the land borders before January 1, 2017.

Protesting the move, Ajibola Adedoyin, president of AMDON, said members of the association numbering about two million, import about 15,000 fairly used cars through the land borders every quarter.

“From the land borders only, the federal government makes more than N100 billion yearly, not to talk about the sea ports. We are talking of so much revenue to be lost.

“That’s why we feel as stakeholders, we needed to be carried along in this policy so that we can be able to tell the government there are some inherent things that needed to be done before this policy is implemented,” Adedoyin said.

The federal government said the proposed ban is intended to encourage patronage for locally assembled cars as well as car manufacturing in the country

But AMDON said that though they were in support of Nigeria becoming a hub of car manufacturing in Africa, “the process of getting that done will hurt the economy so much and disenfranchise people.”

We are not talking about our members alone. The general public will feel the pinch so much,” Adedoyin added.

According to him, “More than 95% of buses and cars used in public transport are bought from AMDON members and cost less than vehicles cleared through sea ports.”

“The least assembled-in-Nigeria is N3m. How many Nigerians can afford that. That’s to say for the next three years there’s no average Nigerian that can buy a car,” the AMDON chairman lamented.

“With what government buys, assemblers are unable to satisfy that market how much more the whole of the Nigerian market.”

Amanda Orji, an administrative staff at a car shop and member of AMDON said: “We have people who repair our cars, who wash the cars and security guards. We pay them. If the ban comes and all this business stops, no work for Nigerians.”

Another car dealer, Mohammed Bawa, said some of them have had their children sent away from school because they are unable to pay tuition.

“Now you want to stop us from the business. What are we going to turn into,” he said.

“We voted this government, we thought we were going to enjoy the government, we thought this government was going to bring soft land for us to do business, but today we are seeing something different entirely.”

Bawa called on the authorities to seriously reconsider the proposed ban as it was one of government’s major source of revenue generation.






     

     

    “How can you stop the source of your revenue?” he queried.

    “Motor dealers pay the VIO. The revenue generated from the registration of each vehicle is something. Then talk about the payment of duties.

    “Government generates a lot of billions of naira in all these vehicles we import through the land borders,” he said.

    He added that the mass sacking that will follow the ban on car importation will indirectly lead to an increase in crime in the society.

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