Abuja - Wale Adeniyi, the Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Customs Service, has said that the proposed new tariff would discourage the importation of second-hand vehicles, otherwise known as ``Tokunbo.’’
Adeniyi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday that the new automotive policy sought to encourage local industries through the proposed tariff.
He said the importation of second-hand vehicles otherwise known as Tokunbo has not been prohibited yet.
"The proposed automotive policy seeks to encourage the growth of the local industries by discouraging the importation of tokunbo vehicles through high protectionist tariff rates." he added.
The Federal Government had in October 2013 announced new duties and levies payable on imported new and used vehicles, as well as imported new tyres.
The new policy stated that a fully built car would attract a duty of 35 per cent and a levy of another 35 per cent of the cost of the vehicle, raising the tariff from 20 per cent to 70 per cent.
Dealers of imported vehicles estimated that the new rate would translate into an increase of 60 per cent on prices of imported cars.
They also estimated that cars currently being sold between N3 million and N5 million would be sold at between N4.8 million and N8 million, while tokunbo vehicles selling for N800,000 would go up to N1.28 million.
The customs spokesperson said the implementation of the new tariff was yet to commence, as the service had to wait for the Feb. 28 deadline, as given by the Federal Government.
It would be recalled that Aminu Jalal, the Director-General, National Automotive Council, had said that some foreign automotive manufacturers had indicated interest to invest in Nigeria’s automobile industry.
He said that importers who opened their letter of credit for the vehicles before October 3, 2013 could still clear imported vehicles at the old rates until February, 28, 2014.