Saturday, February 22, 2014

Importation of Tokunboh Cars Not Affected by the New Automobile Policy

The Federal Government has restated its intention to regulate the importation of fairly used vehicles, also known as tokunboh, into the country even as it said that it would not place an outright ban on the practice.

Minister of industry, trade and investment Dr Olusegun Aganga stated that the “New Automobile Policy” by the federal government would not affect the importation of fairly used cars popularly known as tokunboh into the country.

The minister declared this during a facility tour of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Limited in Kaduna yesterday. He said that “we are not going to ban tokunbo vehicles because of the socio-economic circumstances we have in the country”.

The minister added that the federal government had studied what was done in Pakistan, India, and in South Africa, adding: “It is normal that in most countries they ban the importation of tokunbo cars because that will help the demand for locally made cars.”

“We must work towards providing alternative cars before we even consider placing a ban on tokunbo cars. So, in Nigeria, we have not banned the importation of fairly used vehicles yet. If we slow down the demand, it will slow down the pace of growth.”

Aganga continued: “If you look at the cars today, for every new car that is imported, almost six tokunbo cars are imported into the country. That tells you that the economy of the country is a priority, and when you see that, as a country you cannot afford to place a ban.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has said we are not placing ban on tokunboh vehicles until we have alternative for them. So, tokunboh cars will still come into the country and we will do everything possible to make sure that we can produce affordable and new cars for Nigerians.”

He, however, told PAN that he was ready to see the June deadline when the company would produce its first indigenous car.

Earlier, PAN’s managing director, Alhaji Ibrahim Boyi, said the management was committed to repositioning the organisation.

According to him, “since the new management came on board, the company has embarked on some turnaround strategies”.  He listed the strategies as rebuilding relationship, improving trade and expanding coverage with Peugeot France and, ultimately, commencing “sale, support and assembly of high-quality Peugeot products.”

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