From January 2017, there will be no more importation of vehicles through the land borders according to a new prohibition order issued by the Federal Government to that effect.
The prohibition order covers all new and used vehicles.
A statement released on Monday by the Nigeria Customs Service indicated that the ban is sequel to a presidential directive restricting all vehicles imports to Nigeria sea ports only with effect from January 1, 2017.
The restriction on importation of vehicles follows that of rice, whose imports have been banned through the land borders since April 2016.
In the statement signed by its spokesman, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, the NCS advised importers of vehicles through the land borders to utilize the grace period up till December 31, 2016, to clear their vehicle imports landed in neighbouring ports.
The Federal Government had disclosed during a recent automotive industry forum that it would ban the importation of vehicles through land borders and enforce the presentation of roadworthiness certificates on such vehicles from their countries of origin before allowing them into the country.
The Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Mr. Aminu Jalal, who said this on behalf of the government, added that it was a means of controlling the influx of used vehicles, popularly called ‘Tokunbo,’ into the country.
Stakeholders in the automotive industry had earlier called on strict regulations on the importation of vehicles, noting that poor implementation of the auto policy which was introduced in the last quarter of 2013 by former president Goodluck Jonathan, was driving down the volume of their products.
The auto policy included the imposition of 70 per cent tariff on imported cars, both old and new ones.
While importers of new cars are currently paying 70 per cent of the cost of their vehicles as import duty, owners/importers of Tokunbo cars pay 35 per cent, but the government is yet to enforce the implementation of the 35 per cent import duty on used cars which ought to have commenced last year.