The Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria (AMDON) has raised the alarm over a new government policy seeking to ban the importation of vehicles aged over five years and trucks that are older than 10 years.
The proposed ban is consistent with the fuel grade and emission standards regulation of the ECOWAS Commission. It was approved by ECOWAS Ministers and Heads of States and Governments in September 2020 based on the report of its consultant CITAC which recommends new gasoline and diesel specifications and vehicle emission standards for ECOWAS countries effective January 1, 2021.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja on Friday, the National President of AMDON, Mr Ajibola Adedoyin, warned that the new order, among other things, will further impoverish Nigerians.
He said: “AMDON is alarmed that the proposed regulations as recommended by ECOWAS’ consultant ICCT, contains grievous errors which if implemented will have adverse effects on Nigeria’s economy and every strata of our lives.
“The ECOWAS Commission will soon issue a “Directive” to member countries on the said regulations to restrict the importation of passenger vehicles of no more than five years old and heavy duty vehicles of no more than 10 years old. The implementation of this regulation will have significant negative socio-economic consequences for Nigerian consumers, along with minimal environmental and health benefits.
“It will lead to a huge increase in the cost of imported used automobiles and fuel prices, at a time of economic uncertainty and recession; if the Nigerian government goes ahead with the implementation of the regulation, as proposed.
To avert the economic crisis listed above, Adedoyin recommended that the Federal Government immediately suspends implementation of the new regulation.
He advised the government to consult widely with key stakeholders with the aim of reviewing the errors in the final ECOWAS report to prevent a major socio-economic pitfall, rather than rushing its implementation in Nigeria from January 1, 2021.
“From then, it will be illegal for Nigerian businesses and consumers to purchase any imported vehicles older than the 2015 model year”.
He averred that “further assessment of the proposed ECOWAS regulations as recommended by ICCT has revealed many errors and inconsistencies. While the ECOWAS consultants submitted in their report that the implementation will result in net benefits to society to the value of $107billion between the period 2019/2050, a preliminary independent analysis has determined that the $107billion net benefit presented in the Final Report is incorrect. In fact, the implementation of the ECOWAS regulations will have a net cost of $78.1 billion, with approximately two thirds of the net cost impacting Nigeria negatively”.