Luxury bus owners seek single digit loans from FG
The Association of Luxury Bus Owners of Nigeria (ALBON), has appealed to the Federal Government to direct the Bank of Industry (BoI), to provide single digit loans to enable them acquire and renew their fleets in an effort to meet the travelling needs of the masses.
Indeed, ALBON also wants the government to eliminate the 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) payable on imported mass transit buses as they were exempted from VAT payments since that such buses are meant to serve the public.
National President, ALBON, Nonso Ubajaka, revealed this in an interview with The Guardian. Ubajaka said the government must sustain its efforts at checking the current state of insecurity and kidnappings, while ensuring massive rehabilitation and maintenance of the nation’s highways.
ALBON also wants the government to regulate the road transport sector like other sectors in the Federal Ministry of Transportation to eliminate ‘all comers’ affairs’ in the industry.
Ubajaka, while responding to questions on the impact of slash of duties payable on imported tractors, mass transit buses, said the expectation of its members following this reduction, is that it would reduce the rising cost of imported fully built mass buses in the country.
He however warned that the benefits, which could have accrued to members who are owners/operators of long distance mass transit buses and the ultimate users of the services as a result of this tariff reduction, appear to have been virtually wiped off.
The Federal Government had announced a slash in the duties payable on those vehicles, which was subsequently backed by the Finance Act 2020. Government reduced import duty payable on mass transit buses from 35 per cent to 10 per cent.
He said the increase in VAT from five per cent to 7.5 per cent and rising cost of diesel from N250 per litre to N350 among other challenges, have drastically affected the impact of the reduction.
“It is a well-known fact that the running cost of inter-state passenger buses has been increasing despite the import duty reduction by the Federal Government from 35 per cent to 10 per cent on imported mass transit buses. And one major reason for this continued increase in prices of such imported fully built buses is the devastating negative impact of COVID-19, which we admit, is totally beyond the control of the Federal Government.
“However, since the Federal Government has the responsibility to reduce the negative impact of pandemic on the masses of this country, and our business operations are geared towards providing decent, cheap and affordable transport services to the masses of our nation, we humbly appeal to the Federal Government to address the challenges highlighted,” Ubajaka said.