Used and new vehicles won't be allowed into Nigeria through land borders. But that's only half the story
Here's what this new policy all means:
1. You know how it was possible to get cars through Seme border in Cotonou into Nigeria? You won't be able to do that anymore from January 1, 2017.
Or so the federal government has said.
2. You don't want to have anything to do with Apapa right now.
If all of the vehicles coming into the country have to pass through Nigeria's only functional seaport, you don't want to imagine what will become of Apapa.
Apapa was already a basket-case before now. The petrol tankers, the area boys, the bedlam, the traffic....throw in large trucks evacuating all kinds of cars....
Welcome to hell!
3. Importers of vehicles through the land borders have up till December 31, 2016 to clear their vehicles into Nigeria.
Let the mad scramble and traffic around the Badagry-Mile 2 axis begin.
4. Smugglers and Immigration chaps are about to make a killing.
Because the fact this is an official government policy doesn't mean that smugglers won't be bribing all those Custom and Immigration personnel at Agbara, Seme and elsewhere.
Consumers will then bribe smugglers to get their cars in and the vicious cycle will continue well beyond 2017.
5. Tariff on clearing cars at the Apapa port is still very high. Most persons haven't been able to clear their cars in months or years because of high import duties.
If import duties at the ports aren't reduced, this won't be funny.
Land border car purchase was always the alternative for most because it was cheaper. Is all of that now gone?
If you learned nothing else today, remember this--importation of used vehicles into Nigeria through the land borders has been banned officially. But unofficially, the business is about to step up a notch.
The making of a banana republic.