By Roland Ekama
The Nigerian Ports Authority said on Thursday that revenue on vehicles importation into the nation's seaports dropped by 20 per cent in 2018 owing to the Federal Government’s flip-flop Automobile Policy.
The Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, who disclosed this noted that the revenue dip has sent a wrong signal for the government’s overall revenue profile. She advocated an urgent review of the policy in order to reduce the losses.
She told the House of Representatives Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways that the policy had led to a revenue loss by 20 per cent.
According to Bala-Usman who appeared before the committee to speak on the Internally Generated Revenue of the NPA for 2017 and the projections for 2018, government is losing from the policy and NPA has been losing revenue to that effect.
She stated that contrary to government’s expectations, the policy has not achieved its objectives, while on the other hand, it has continued to engender the loss of revenue that would have ordinarily accrued from car importation.
“We have written Mr. President on this policy and we will continue to defend our position that it should be reviewed because the government runs the risk of losing both ways.
“We have recorded a drop in revenue by 20 per cent. How many cars are being manufactured and how many Nigerians can really afford to buy the brand new cars?
“So, the implication is that while the government is losing revenue on importation, the manufacturing or assembly plants are not achieving the aims of the policy.
The automobile policy was introduced by the government to encourage local car production and assembly plants while cutting importation and raising import duties.