The Federal Government on Tuesday said there was no going back on the July 1, 2014 deadline set for the commencement of the 70 per cent tariff on imported new cars.
It, therefore, dismissed the report of a possible extension of the deadline to January 1 next year.
It said only the implementation of the 35 per cent levy on imported used cars would be delayed till the end of the year.
A statement by the National Automotive Council said the July 1 date for new cars “remains sacrosanct and there is no intention whatsoever to subvert or postpone the auto policy.”
The statement, which was entitled: ‘FG retains July 1, 2014 date for full implementation of Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan’, was signed by the Director, Policy and Planning, NAC, Mr. Luqman Mamudu.
In November 2013, the Federal Government had raised the duty and levy payable on imported new and used cars from 20 per cent to 70 per cent. The policy was aimed at encouraging local production of new vehicles as zero per cent was placed on the completely knocked down units required by the local assembly plants.
The government had earlier fixed April 1 for the implementation of the new tariff on both classes of imported vehicles, but later decided to phase the implementation of the policy.
Already, the first phase of the policy involving 35 per cent duty increase has come into effect. The second phase of 35 per cent increase in levy is expected to commence on July 1, 2014.
But there were unconfirmed reports on Monday that the government was considering pushing the commencement date to January next year.
The NAC, however, said in the statement that “the implementation of the NAIDP, as published in the Federal Government Official Gazette No. 33 of January, 2014, is still on course.”