The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) has said that the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) policy is not responsible for the hike in prices of vehicles and the upsurge in smuggling of vehicles, as widely speculated.
The agency said it was shocked that the policy is being blamed for increased prices of imported used vehicles otherwise known as ‘tokunbo’ when the provision to levy them in the NAIDP has not yet been applied.
Director of Policy and Planning of the council, Mr. Luqman Mamudu explained that the agency is yet to impose levy on such vehicles and as such could not have been responsible for the hike in the price of â€˜tokunboâ€™ vehicles.
Mamudu, who described the report as mischievous also said that on the contrary, the policy is meant to give Nigerians access to buy cheap new vehicles through a gradual increase in volume and local content, adding that used vehicles can only fall in the NAIDP net when cushion programmes built into the strategic plan are implemented.
He said that the council is very concerned about the issue of smuggling because of the damage it could do to the ongoing investment in the automotive industry which government is desirous of consolidating for sustained growth..
â€œThe NAIDP has not imposed levy on second hand vehicles, so it cannot be responsible for increase of their prices nor smuggling. Used vehicle import can only come into NAIDP net when we have built up enough local assembly capacity and put in place a credible credit purchase scheme. Let us not use words like â€˜punitiveâ€™. The policy simply encourages us to assemble /produce our new vehicles, grow our own Second hand market. The practice of importing used vehicles and even Second-hand clothes is not just right in Nigeria and indeed Africa of the 21st century,â€ he said.
He added: â€œThe technology for automotive is practically off-the shelf. Installed capacity for assembly has grown admirably from 60,000 in 2014 to over 360,000 today under the policy. NADDC is working on growing operational capacity which has grown from a mere 1,200 vehicles in 2013 to 15,000 as at 2016.
â€œEfforts are ongoing to improve on this within the limits of investment constraints. Council should not be distracted. However the Council is concerned about the menace of smuggling and it is collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service through the integration of our IT platform with its trade portal.â€