By Richards Adeniyi
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said recently that revenue on car importation into the country dropped by 20 per cent this year, fallout of the Federal Government’s Automobile Policy.
It warned that the revenue dip was a bad omen for the government’s overall revenue take and called for the urgent review of the policy in order to reduce the losses.
The automobile policy was introduced by the government to encourage local car production/assembly plants while cutting importation and raising import duties.
But, recently the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, told the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways that the policy had led to a revenue loss by 20 per cent.
Bala-Usman appeared before the committee, which is chaired by a lawmaker from Enugu State, Pat Asadu, to speak on the internally generated revenue of NPA for 2017 and the projections for 2018.
She stated that contrary to the government’s expectations, the policy had not achieved its objectives, while on the other hand, it continued to lose revenue that would have ordinarily accrued from car importation.
“We have written Mr. President on this policy and we will continue to defend our position that it should be reviewed because the government runs the risk of losing both ways.
“We have recorded a drop in revenue by 20 per cent. How many cars are being manufactured and how many Nigerians can really afford or buy the brand new cars?
“So, the implication is that while the government is losing revenue on importation, the manufacturing or assembly plants are not achieving the aims of the policy,” he said.