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NAMA: Nigeria Could Lose Billions to New Wave of Import Duty, Tax Waivers

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IMAGE: NAMA Executive Secretary, Arthur Madueke »



Story:  Crusoe Osagie


The 19-member strong Nigerian Auto Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (NAMA) has written to the federal government asking it to cancel a new wave of import duty waivers granted to an unnamed businessmen to import cars into the country.

In a three separate letters written to President Goodluck Jonathan, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngizi Okonjo-Iweala as well as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, signed by NAMA Executive Secretary, Arthur Madueke, the car manufacturers complained that the import waiver would sabotage the new automotive policy launched by the federal government and will also cause a loss of billions of naira in government revenue.

The new auto policy seeks to create employment for Nigerians through the local assembly and the manufacture of cars.

The letters titled: “Protest and Request for cancellation of One-year Duty waiver concession to import vehicles in Nigeria,” sought to remind the government  that barely six months ago, “we rolled out the drums to congratulate the federal government on the monumental stride  taken to advance industrialisation in this great country when the Federal Executive Council (FEC) announced the National Automotive Policy.

Two months ago, the President and Commander-in-Chief, Goodluck Jonathan, launched the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan and the National Enterprise Development Programme. These two projects represent the federal government’s initiatives to industrialise this country, diversify our economy and reduce the stranglehold of developed economies on our people. Huge resources to be channelled into this endeavor,” it said.

NAMA regretted that “certain elements in our society, in pursuit of personal wealth, are prepared to stop at nothing to scuttle our aspirations to develop as a nation.”

The car manufacturers recalled that their association made a passionate plea to government to demonstrate its commitment to the National Automotive Policy released six months ago, by patronising automotive assembly companies that had demonstrated faith in this economy by investing  in manufacturing facilities in Nigeria.

They said: “Our members (19 in number and growing) made a representation to the Nigeria Economic Summit team handling the preparation for the World Economic Forum to be hosted in Nigeria in May. We 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. These letters we submitted to the world economic summit group in January 2014. There was no constructive engagement or response to this offer.”

They therefore regretted that they  had come to learn that the government has issued a letter of duty waiver valid for one year from February 2014 to certain auto importers, with no investment in the productive sector, to import 290 luxury vehicles for the purpose of the world economic summit taking place in May 2014.

“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. A duty waiver valid for one year for a one-week event taking place ye month is open border to flood our markets with imported vehicles and destroy the domestic market for locally produced vehicles,” said the association.
NAMA then requested for the intervention of the president in getting the government to withdraw the said duty waiver letter immediately and cancel same.

“We assure you that genuine capacity exist in NAMA to support the federal government in meeting the auto requirements of the World Economic Forum, without the request for a total duty waiver. Going ahead with this concession will undermine the investments in the productive sector.

“The issuance of an incentive operative for a period of one year to ship vehicles through our borders without a dime duty, tax or VAT payment promises to usher in another era of treasury looting, information that will not go down too well in the public domain in an election year.

We reiterate the preparedness of our members  to supply the vehicular requirements of the World Economic Forum without request for any duty waiver.”
NAMA promised that they believed in the transformational agenda of the  president and are prepared to stand behind him to thwart efforts aimed at sabotaging his vision and agenda for a prosperous country.

In compliance with the government directive on the waivers, the Comptroller (Import and Export) of the Nigeria Customs Service, M. Jibrin, had, in a letter dated April 7 titled: ‘Re-Import Duty, VAT, and Other Taxes Waiver Certificate’ with reference number NCS/ADM/MGT/030/S.51/C/V.111 directed area controllers at the major sea ports to act on the “approval of the President and Commander-in-Chief...for a waiver of import duty, VAT and other taxes on the importation of 290 units of assorted vehicles.”

Article Credit: ThisDay newspaper

Updated 5 Years ago

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Tags:     Nigerian Auto Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (NAMA)     Arthur Madueke     Federal Executive Council (FEC)