The number of used cars brought into the country has dropped in the first half of this year by N177.2 billion, said a report by the National Bureau Statistics (NBS).
In the same period of 2021, Nigerians spent N346.2bn to import used cars, noted the report titled ‘Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics’.
For the six months of 2022 (H1), N169bn worth of ‘used vehicles, with diesel or semi-diesel engine, of cylinder capacity’ was imported amounting to N169bn (N72.3bn in the first quarter and N96.7bn in the second quarter).
But in the corresponding year, H1 2021, N346.2bn of the commodity was imported, (N174.2bn in Q1 and N172bn in Q2).
Also, in the second half of 2021, N271.1bn of the commodity was imported, (N185.4bn and N85.7bn in Q3 and Q4 respectively).
The federal government introduced the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) early this year for proper valuation of imported used vehicles, but importers and agents had a face-off with the Nigeria Customs Service on the platform’s challenges. They noted that the scheme had increased the cost of clearing such vehicles.
But the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, stated that the VIN which is under the National Vehicle Registry (VREG) was to increase revenue, curb smuggling and other criminal activities.
The NCS Controller in charge of e-valuation, Abuja, Anthony Udenze while announcing the reintroduction said it was after consideration of all the complaints raised by stakeholders during the first attempt to implement the platform.
Clearing agents who kicked against the platform decried the high rate of abandoned imported vehicles and general cargoes at the ports due to its introduction.
Vice-President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Mr Nnadi Ugochukwu, said there was an astronomical increase in the cost of clearing vehicles due to VIN.
“Before now, you could clear a vehicle with N500,000, but now you can clear the same vehicle with N2 million or more. You do not have any other option than to abandon the vehicles,” he had noted.