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Federal Government drops plan to ban tokunbo vehicle

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The Federal Government has reversed its plans to ban the
importation of fairly used vehicles also known as Tokunbo, in
line with popular opposition to the policy since it was announced
late last year.The shift in position was taken at the Federal
Executive Council (FEC) meeting penultimate week, following
intense debate on the issue with the conclusion that the planned
ban was not in the best interest of the nation’s economy for now.
The Minister of Industry,Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun
Aganga, disclosed this in Kaduna on Friday, during a facility
tour of one of the nation’s automobile assembly plants, Peugeot
Automobile of Nigeria, Kaduna.
According to him, government has since realised that despite the
laudable intention of the policy, the prevailing socio-economic
circumstances in the country for now would not be supportive of
it.
Stakeholders in the import sector who roundly condemned the
plans have been locked in a fierce debate over its desirability or
otherwise with the automobile manufacturing industry who saw
the policy as long overdue.
But Aganga said despite the new automotive policy in place,the
government would not ban the importation of fairly used vehicles
because of its socio-economic importance to the country.
Rather than banning, the minister noted that Nigeria must work
towards providing alternative cars. Hesaid the idea to ban the
imports was aimed at revamping the auto industry adding that a
lot more needed to be put in place before adopting such policy
because of its apparent backlash.
The minister, who said he was at PAN to assess how the
automobile company was taking the opportunity of the new
automotive policy of the government, saidthough Tokunbo
vehicles would still be imported into the country, government
would do everything possible to ensure that affordable and new
vehicles are produced for Nigerians.
Theministersaid,”We studied what was done in Pakistan, India
and South Africa. It is normal that in most countries they ban
the importation of Tokunbo cars because that will help the
demand of the local manufacturers.
“However, for Nigeria, we discussed and we said we are not
going to ban Tokunbo vehicles because of the socio-economic
problems we have in the country. We must work towards
providing alternative cars before we even consider placing a ban
on them.
“So, in Nigeria we have not banned it yet. If we slow down the
demand, it will slow down the pace of growth. If you look at the
cars today, for every new car that is imported, almost six
Tokunbo vehicles are imported into the country. That tells you
that the economy of the country is a priority.
“When you see that, as a country, you cannot afford to place a
ban. The Federal Executive Council has said we are not
banning Tokunbo vehicles until we have alternative for them.
So, Tokunbo cars will still be imported into the country and we
will do everything possible to make sure we can produce
affordable and new cars for Nigerians. It is important that we
provide an environment and the alternative for Nigerians before
we embark on banning Tokunbo cars.”
Is this good or bad new?

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