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Tariff: Peugeot says many local assembly plants will shut down

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  • Nigeria to import N3tn used automobiles this year

Many vehicle assembly plants in Nigeria including Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) will shut down their operations this year following a recent reduction in import tariff on vehicles by the Federal Government.

Chairman of PAN, Ahmed Wadada Aliyu, who stated this, also predicted that Nigeria would import used cars and motorcycles worth N3 trillion this year as a result of the new policy.

Aliyu, who is a former member of the House of Representatives, condemned the tariff reduction on imported vehicles, describing it as a policy somersault.

The policy was based on the recommendations of the Automobile Standing Committee set up by the Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to examine factors hindering the growth of the automotive sector.

Ahmed, who spoke on Tuesday in Abuja during a media parley on ‘The tariff regime for automobile assembly plant in the 2020 Finance Bill’, accused the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), of succumbing to the lobby of vehicle dealers with no matching investments in local vehicle assembly.

Aliyu expressed concern that the new policy would affect PAN Kaduna Limited, which had already secured a financing of $150 million over the next three years for its operations.

He added that the tariff reduction would mean the imminent closure of PAN and other auto assembly plants.

“The tariff portion of the Finance Bill was stepped down. But to our dismay, it was smuggled again into the Finance Bill and subsequently approved,” he stated.

He accused the Customs boss of abusing the direct access that he has to the presidency.

He said, “The Nigeria Ports Authority revealed in December 2020 that 13 vessels off-loaded used vehicles at the terminals. In 2020, the country imported used vehicles and motorcycles valued at N1.28 trillion.

“It means in 2021, Nigeria is likely to go berserk and triple the amount to N3 trillion. Forty per cent of the budget on importation of all manners of used cars is a direct consequence of the tariff reduction.

“The comptroller general intends to flood Nigeria with ‘Tokunboh’ vehicles and ensure the closure of all assembly plants whereas the assembly plants have put in place a car financing scheme for Nigerians to own brand new vehicles at affordable rates.

“We strongly believe the comptroller general succumbed to the lobby of ‘Tokunboh’ dealers who are glorified car dealers with no matching investments in local vehicle assembly, and without linkages and value chain components that can precipitate long term industrial growth of Nigerian economy.

“PAN Kaduna Limited has just been acquired and has already secured a financing of $150 million over the next three years, and the implication of this review means the imminent closure of PAN and other auto assembly plants due to misguided recommendations by the comptroller general.

“We categorically state that this tariff review will become more detrimental to the long-term competitiveness that the automotive industry must achieve if it is to play any dominant role in Africa continental free trade area.”

But the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) dismissed the PAN chairman’s allegation, saying that Nigerians are happy with the new policy.

Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Mr Joseph Attah, said the position of the NCS was well known on the matter, adding that Nigerians were happy with the reduction of tariff on imported vehicles.

“Our position is well known and Nigerians are happy. Anyone can criticise our position. What you then ask yourself is on which grounds. I am not a businessman, but when people criticise based on their interests, I don’t know what you want me to say. Our position is well known and anyone can criticise us,” he stated.

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$1bn investment recorded in auto industry – Minister

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The Federal Government has recorded more than one billion dollars’ worth of investments in the automotive industry. Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, said this in Abuja on Tuesday when he featured at the 20th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration scorecard series organsied by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

“Over one billion dollars in investment has been recorded in the automotive sector and we are ready to move on to the next phase for the automotive industry,” the minister said.

He said the review of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) was almost completed, adding that the plan was going through validation process.

Adebayo restated the ministry’s commitment toward enabling business environment to attract and retain investments.

According to him, the ministry and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) are committed to attracting and protecting investments that genuinely benefit Nigeria and its citizens.

He said that the revised Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) would boost investment.

“Nigeria has successfully revised its model Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) to include a specific provision for investment facilitation, which institutionalizes the principle of assisting investors in completing their investments.

“We are proud to offer Nigeria’s first investment policy to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval.

“This strategic statement, which will outline our priorities, aims, commitments, and expectations, is a turning point for the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment and Nigeria as an investment destination,” he said.

Adebayo, who said that Nigeria had Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) with Singapore, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia to attract and retain investments, said the ministry was developing more.

“We have IPPAs with Singapore, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia to attract and retain investments. The president ratified both accords on Sept. 16, 2022 and we are developing more IPPAs,” he said.

Adebayo said the ministry also distributed 5,571 acceptance certificates worth N7.7 trillion to 2,665,800 firms.

“The acceptance certificates allow businesses claim tax reduction when computing Company Income Tax.

“We also issued more than 130 Production Day Certificates, a crucial Pioneer Status Incentive step,’’ the minister said.

To further accelerate industrialisation, Adebayo said that the ministry was expediting the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country.

According to him, the special economic zones will increase infrastructure availability and provide fiscal incentives for value addition.

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Pay customers with N100, N50, CBN orders commercial banks

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The Central Bank Of Nigeria has directed all commercial banks to pay customers over the counter in N100, N50, N20, N10, and N5 notes, regardless of the amount withdrawn.

Bankers Committee issued the directives to all commercial banks in the country on Monday, and announced the discontinuation of old notes payment of N1000, N500 and N200 across the counters.

It also urged people to use their alternative channels for transactions, while those insisting on new naira notes were advised to use Automated Teller Machine (ATMs).

The directives came on Monday, following a meeting of the bankers committee in Lagos.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, in a statement on Sunday extended the deadline for old naira notes from January 31 to February 10, 2023.

Emefiele also noted that he obtained permission from President Muhmammadu Buhari to effect the extension.

According to him, the extension, ‘a seven-day grace period’ was as a result of measures put in place to ease the scarcity.

The decision is coming after CBN had previously insisted that it would not extend the deadline.

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Famous 4×4 Grenadier coming to Nigeria, courtesy Coscharis Motors

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Coscharis Motors has announced its readiness to introduce the popular rugged off-road vehicle, Grenadier, to the Nigerian auto market.

This follows the naming of the auto company by INEOS Automotive as its official retail partner in Nigeria.

Nigeria is the sixth market in Sub-Sahara Africa to join the brand after South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Botswana.

A statement on Monday by Abiona Babarinde, the auto firm’s General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, said, “The first Grenadier demonstrator vehicles are expected to arrive in Nigeria in early 2023 with customer deliveries expected to commence within the first quarter.

“All after-sales servicing will be conducted at a dedicated workshop also located in Lagos.”

Commenting on this partnership, the President/CEO of Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka, said, “We are proud that INEOS Automotive has appointed Coscharis Motors to represent its brand in Nigeria. “This milestone marks another step in the evolution of our company. With our history and experience of the Nigerian market, we know that the INEOS Grenadier is going to be a serious player in the off-road segment.

“We have no doubt that the Grenadier has what it takes to handle Africa’s tough terrain and that it is the perfect option to meet the specific demands of those who need a capable, refined, and reliable off-road vehicle in the region. We look forward to the first customer test drives and hearing public feedback, because this vehicle is definitely going to stir things up in Nigeria.”

The statement quoted Tim Abbott, INEOS Automotive’s Head of Region South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, as saying, “We are carefully selecting our partners across the SSA region, to find people who know their local market and customers, and also understand our brand.

“Coscharis Motors shares our belief that the INEOS Grenadier is the perfect vehicle not only for Nigeria, but for the continent. Our shared passion for off-roading, along with their excellent reputation in the automotive industry, makes it the perfect partnership for Grenadier in Nigeria.”

Coscharis says the Grenadier has been developed to be refined on the road and extraordinarily capable off-road.

“The Grenadier is powered by a choice of two straight-six, 3.0-litre BMW engines. Both the BMW B57 diesel and B58 petrol powertrains have a proven track record, regularly appearing in top ten world’s best engine lists since 2016. They have been used in everything from sports cars to SUVs.

“The two power units bring BMW’s sophistication and refinement to the Grenadier, but they have been enhanced by INEOS Automotive’s engineering team. As well as providing powerful acceleration on tarmac, they also deliver peak torque at low revs – sustaining it through the rev range – for optimal off-road performance,” it states.

It also notes that the carefully calibrated characteristics help the driver to confidently manage the vehicle’s momentum and grip without stressing the engine, ensuring full control when tackling tricky terrain.

It adds, “The refined turbo petrol engine produces 286PS (210kW) and 450Nm (332 lb ft) of torque, while the twin-turbo diesel generates 249PS (183kW) and 550Nm (406 lb ft), for even greater pulling power. Start/stop is built-in, increasing range and preserving air quality when the vehicle is stationary.

“While it is every inch a rugged 4X4, it ticks all the right boxes on the road, too. The chassis combines a five-link suspension setup with Brembo brakes and Bridgestone tyres, meaning the Grenadier is composed, well- mannered and fun to drive no matter what the terrain.”

The firm also reveals that by the end of this year, INEOS Automotive plans to have a network of more than 200 sales and service sites for the Grenadier spanning over 50 countries, including established dealer groups, 4X4 specialists and agricultural equipment dealers.

 

 

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