Our politicians have a way of confusing you everyday with pronouncements. Just listen to what the Minister for Trade Aganga had to say about the new duty on imported vehicles.
“The article (media report) had claimed that the duty on used cars is now 70 per cent from yesterday (July 1); that is incorrect. It is 35 per cent. It also claimed that all used cars now coming into the country would pay duty of 70 per cent; that again, is incorrect.
“For all those in the auto policy programme, all those assembling cars in the programme; the policy is that they will be able to import cars to meet the gap when you look at production and the demand in the country; they would be able to import those cars at 35 per cent; so, it is not 70 per cent.
“It is only for those who are putting strain on our foreign reserves, those who have no intention of creating jobs, those who want to continue to remain traders that the 70 per cent applies to and this is to discourage trading.
“It is to encourage local assembly and job creation, and stop unnecessary pressure on our foreign reserves. So, it is an economic issue and it is very deliberate.”
The minister added, “Why will you import cars at 70 per cent while others are importing at 35 per cent? So, we do not expect to see anyone importing cars at 70 per cent. It was just a measure to encourage people to go within the policy group.”
“When you look at the blended rate of those in the auto programme for the CKDs, SKD 1 and SKD 2 they bring to the country, they only pay duty of zero per cent, five per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
“So when you look at the blended rate of what they produce locally and what they import, it is just above 20 per cent. That is the policy and that is why all the manufacturers and assemblers of cars, including some of the major distributors of cars and importers of cars have given an undertaking they will not increase their prices at all. Anyone who wants to buy cars from anyone of them, they will find out that none of them plans to or has increased prices at all.”