Manufacturers protest waivers for import of 290 cars
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.