The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has called on the Federal Government to reduce the tariff payable on imported vehicles in the country to 15%.
Director General of the chamber, Muda Yusuf made the call in a statement he issued in Lagos on Sunday, four days after the Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali, called for the reduction of the 35% tariff so as to curb smuggling of vehicles into the country.
According to LCCI, five years after the proclamation of the Automotive Policy by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the policy had not only failed to achieve the desired outcomes but had adversely impacted the cost of doing business, the welfare of the people, government revenue and the capacity of the economy to create jobs.
The chamber further added that the policy had also penalised stakeholders in the sector that were compliant with extant rules, taxes and tariffs applicable to the automobile sector.
Yusuf advocated a reduction from 50% to 15%. “This will be in addition to the 20 per cent import duty.”
He suggested that the 25 per cent import levy on commercial vehicles should be cut down to 15 per cent to complement the 10 per cent import duty.
“Import levy on used cars should be reviewed from current 25 per cent to 15 per cent,” he said.
Yusuf also recommended that further tax concessions and waivers be extended to the assembly plants in the spirit of the auto policy, adding that semi-knocked down units should all attract five per cent duty to incentivise domestic vehicle assembly.
“Other incentives for assembly plants and tyre industries for the acquisition of machinery and equipment should be retained as contained in the automotive policy.
“Similar incentives should be extended to the local production of vehicle spare parts.
“Patronage of locally assembled vehicles by the government and its agencies should be more rigorously encouraged and enforced”, the LCCI DG said.