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More taxes for vehicles as government plans clampdown on pollution

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A joint effort by the federal ministries of Environment, Petroleum Resources, Industry, Trade and Investment as well as United Nations and Global Fuel Economy Initiative is targeting stringent actions against worsening level of pollution in Nigeria.

This would be through implementation of key initiatives that include more taxes and tariffs for importation of rickety vehicles.

Going by the plan, importation of used cars popular known as Tokunbo, which currently attracts 35 per cent tariff would be jerked up to 70 per cent to limit pollution and also encourage local manufacturing of automobile in Nigeria.

 
As captured under the national automotive policy, implementation of the 70 per cent tariff on imported used vehicles was expected to take effect on April 30, 2015 but has witnessed delay.
  
Importers of automobiles such as SUVs and sports cars had earlier been compelled under the policy to pay 70 per cent of the value of the vehicles as taxes (duties) to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

Indeed, a proposed document awaiting endorsement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will make it compulsory for importers and refiners of petroleum products in the country to reduce sulfur, especially in diesel from over 10,000ppm to 50ppm, Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, said yesterday at a forum on “Clean Fuels and Clean Vehicles in Nigeria’’ in Abuja.

Similarly, the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) said as soon as a bill on automotive, awaiting the accent of President Muhammadu Buhari is attended to, introduction of electric and eco-friendly vehicles in Nigeria would become feasible.

While the rest of world is moving from the dangers of in-house gases, implementation of key treaties signed by the Nigerian government, including an agreement by governments in the ECOWAS sub-region in 2016 had remained elusive thereby threatening health and the environment.

With the plan, fuel consumption in vehicles would reduce by 50 per cent in the next two years, as Nigeria would add 50 per cent fuel-efficient vehicles in the year 2050, while the quality of air the masses breath would improve.

Jibril, represented by his Permanent Secretary, Usman Ahmed said: “Government will put measures in place including appropriate tariffs and taxes to discourage the importation of old and rickety vehicles, encourage local manufacturing and assembling of vehicles, promote the use of alternative fuels such as Compressed Natural Gas, Liquefied Natural Gas and the use of electric vehicles, efficient and effective means of mass transportation such as rails and water ways.”

Going forward, a major stakeholders collaboration that include the ministry of Environment, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Ministry of Transportation, National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Ministry of Petroleum Resources would work assiduously to enable the country switch to a greener economy, Jibril said.


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