The Nigerian Federal Government will starting from January 2017 stop importation of brand new & Tokunbo used vehicles through the Nigerian Land Borders. This is as a result of a new Prohibition Order enacted by the Nigerian Federal Government and sent to the Nigerian Customs Service.

This order will take effect as from January, 2017.

The Nigerian Customs through it's spokesperson, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, advised importers of vehicles through the land borders to utilise the grace period up till December 31 to clear their vehicles landed in neighbouring countries’ ports.

One of such major ports for vehicles importation is the Seme Port, where Ships laden with imported vehicles berth at Cotonou and then vehicle importers drive them in through Badagry Lagos and Ogun State respectively.

This move by the Federal Government will surely draw mixed reactions from the Nigerian populace who are currently passing through a bitter recession, the first of it's kind in 20 years. This ban also follows the ban on importation of rice through the land borders since April, 2016.

How this new prohibition will help Nigeria's automobile policy is yet to be seen, but will definitely help local producers like Innoson Vehicles and Manufacturing Industries, that have championed the course for local content production capability in automobile production.

Foreign vehicle manufacturers have been setting up assembly plants in Nigeria, examples are Nissan which was launched during the past Government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

A Director of NADC ( National Automotive Design and Development Council), Mr. Aminu Jalal, speaking on behalf of the government, added that it was a means of controlling the influx of used vehicles, popularly called ‘Tokunbo’, into the country.

Mostly, these Tokunbo vehicles fail road worthy tests, the Government will like to protect the lives of it's citizens in this regard and prevent Nigeria from been a dumping ground for old and used vehicles.

Stakeholders in the automotive industry had earlier called for strict regulation of the importation of vehicles, noting that poor implementation of the auto policy was driving down the volume of their products.

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

Source: Ask Nigeria, Punch NG