Man­u­fac­tur­ers protest waivers for im­port of 290 cars

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Sun­day Michael

The Nige­rian Auto Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion has urged the Federal Govern­ment to can­cel duty waivers granted to cer­tain com­pa­nies for the im­port 290 cars for the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum on Africa hold­ing in Abuja in May.

Their protest was con­tained in three sep­a­rate letters writ­ten to Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ngozi Okon­joIweala and Min­is­ter of Trade and In­vest­ment, Dr Oluse­gun Aganga.

In the let­ter, signed by its ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary Arthur Madueke, the as­so­ci­a­tion said the waivers granted would sab­o­tage the Federal Govern­ment’s new au­to­mo­tive pol­icy and will also cause losses of bil­lions in govern­ment rev­enues.

The new auto pol­icy is aimed at cre­at­ing jobs for Nige­ri­ans through lo­cal as­sem­bly and man­u­fac­ture of ve­hi­cles.

In the protest letters, the auto man­u­fac­tur­ers re­called that they had pleaded with govern­ment to demon­strate its com­mit­ment to the au­to­mo­tive pol­icy by pa­tro­n­is­ing au­to­mo­tive as­sem­bly com­pa­nies that have in­vested in man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Nigeria.

They said they made a rep­re­sen­ta­tion to a team han­dling the prepa­ra­tion for the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum on Africa where they “un­der­took to sup­ply ve­hi­cles to the sum­mit at our ex­pense and in­di­cated our pre­pared­ness to pay duty as may be agreed by govern­ment for these ve­hi­cles.”

But the as­so­ci­a­tion said they were ig­nored and now the govern­ment has is­sued duty waiver valid for one year from Fe­bru­ary 2014 to cer­tain auto im­porters to im­port 290 cars for the event.

“This de­ci­sion is to say the least ret­ro­gres­sive and out­rightly scan­dalous. Our mem­ber­ship, who have taken a coun­try risk of in­vest­ing in pro­duc­tion in Nigeria, are hav­ing to face up to our great­est fear that well placed vested in­ter­est in the auto im­port trade will work to un­der­mine this pol­icy,” it said.

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