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From next month, importation of
vehicles through the land borders will be prohibited, according to a new
prohibition order issued by the Federal Government to that effect. The
prohibition order covers all new and used vehicles.

A statement issued on Monday by the
Nigeria Customs Service indicated that the ban was sequel to a presidential
directive restricting all vehicle imports to the seaports with effect from
January 1, 2017.

The restriction on importation of
vehicles follows that of rice, whose imports through the land borders had been
banned since April 2016.

In the statement signed by its
spokesperson, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, the NCS advised importers of vehicles through
the land borders to utilise the grace period up till December 31 to clear their
vehicles landed in neighboring countries’ ports.

The Federal Government had
disclosed at a forum of the automotive industry on Friday that it would ban the
importation of vehicles through land borders and enforce the presentation of
roadworthiness certificates on such vehicles from their countries of origin before
allowing them into Nigeria.

The Director-General, National
Automotive Design and Development Council, Mr. Aminu Jalal, who said this on
behalf of the government, added that it was a means of controlling the influx
of used vehicles, popularly called ‘Tokunbo’, into the country.

Stakeholders in the automotive
industry had earlier called for strict regulation of the importation of
vehicles, noting that poor implementation of the auto policy introduced in the
last quarter of 2013 by former President Goodluck Jonathan administration was
driving down the volume of their products.

The auto policy prescribed the
imposition of 70 per cent tariff on imported cars, both old and new ones.

While importers of new cars are
currently paying 70 per cent of the cost of the vehicles as import duty,
owners/importers of Tokunbo cars pay 35 per cent. The government has yet to
enforce the implementation of the 35 per cent import duty on used cars, which
ought to have commenced last year.

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