Reps urge Finance Ministry to halt planned increase in import duties for cars

By The Citizen

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, urged the Federal Ministry of Finance to suspend the planned increase in import duty on used and new vehicles.

The resolution emanated from a motion moved by Rep. Nathaniel Agunbiade (APC-Osun) which was adopted without debate.

According to Agunbiade, the new tariff of 60 per cent will have a multiplier effect of 250 per cent increase on the value of the affected items adding that it will definitely lead to higher prices of vehicles.

He noted that even though January 2014 has been set as the commencement date of the policy, none of the assembly plants the policy sought to protect would have started production in the country.

The legislator cautioned that care must be taken not to bring too much pain to Nigerians and also to encourage smuggling through the land borders.

The Federal Government on Nov. 25 increased the import duty on used and new vehicles from the current 20 percent to 70 per cent.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance, recently directed that imported fully-built unit (FBU) of cars shall now attract 35 percent duty and 35 percent levy, totaling 70 percent charges for both new and fairly-used vehicles.

Meanwhile, the 2014 budget estimates would be presented to the House on Thursday, by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

This is contained in a letter sent to the House and read by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, after an executive session.

The presentation of the budget by President Goodluck Jonathan had been postponed twice.