Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) Limited has criticized the federal government’s plan to reduce import duties and taxes for tractors, buses and passenger cars, noting that it would serve as a disincentive for Nigerian car plants and increase unemployment.
PAN Nigeria President Hon. Ahmed Aliyu Wadada, who stated this in Kaduna on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to quickly reverse the plan, which was aimed at boosting the economy in the wake of Covid-19 and other economic challenges, noting that such a policy would create unemployment problems.
He warned that such a policy would further harm the ailing auto industry and the companies involved in accessories, as well as weaken local content and the steel and petrochemical industries, which should serve local auto plants, which President Muhammadu Buhari is doing everything to. revive.
He added: “We received very disturbing information from the Media Assistant to the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that the federal government is reducing import duties and other taxes on tractors, buses and passenger cars. This concerns us on behalf of other automobile plants, such as the main Nigerian automobile plant.
“The federal government should take a look at the policy and reverse it for the betterment of Nigerians. This policy somersault is detrimental to the survival and development of the auto industry, rather than creating job opportunities, it would create employment problems due to lower activity from auto plants.
“What the government position informed is to cushion Nigeria’s socio-economic problems, but it should not be tackled on an ad-hoc basis. It is better to address the socio-economic problem of Nigeria in a more sustainable and permanent way. Creating employment opportunities for citizens is a more effective and better way of dealing with it.
“Nesbitt Investment Nigeria Limited recently acquired PAN with a plan to inject $ 150 million over three years. But with such a policy, how will the PAN survive? And what will be the stimulus for Nesbitt Investment to inject that money when the import corridor is fully open and car companies cannot compete.
“We call on the federal government to reverse the policy. The government should resuscitate the steel and petrochemical industries it has been struggling to do. We are doing our best to migrate from an assembly plant to a manufacturing company, which is all encompassing. But if the import corridor is opened, that would discourage the automotive industry.
“No auto plant makes CKD (Complete Knockdown) due to politics on the ground, but our plan is to migrate from SKD (Semi Knockdown) to CKD. What encouraged Nesbitt Investment to acquire PAN from AMCON (Asset Management Company of Nigeria) is the business environment, the policy of President Buhari’s administration that was previously encouraging. “
Source: – The Nation