The federal government of Nigeria reportedly has been urged to stop massive imports of new vehicles into the country.


According to allafrica.com, the national chairman of the Peugeot (Automobile) Dealers Association of Nigeria, chief Onyemuche Nnamani, made the call in Kaduna during the handing over ceremony of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (Pan) Limited to its new owners Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD) Motors.


Onyemuche reportedly said that a situation whereby banks, state governments and even federal government officials deal in other brands of vehicles instead of those produced locally was not helpful to the growth of local vehicle plants.


“For example, if you look around, you will see that most of the government officials who came for this handling over ceremony of PAN had other vehicle models,” he said, according to the website’s report.


He said that PAN produces models including the Peugeot 607 and 406 which are very durable and fuel-efficient.


“The managing directors of banks and oil companies patronise foreign vehicles without justification. Our people should know that for every new car they import, they are paying salaries of 12 people outside this country,” Nnamani was reported to have said.


“People should enjoy the liberty of spending their money the way they like but we should be more patriotic by patronising our own products.


“We should act more responsibly and patriotically. You can’t flog any other car the way you can use Peugeot cars. In fact, government should prevent oil companies and banks from importing as many as 500 vehicles at a time. No western country allows this to happen in their own areas in the name of free trade…” he said.


Commenting on the handover of PAN to ASD Motors, chief Nnamani was reported to have said that PAN, which had about 1,000 staff, sold an average of 5,000 cars yearly adding that his hope was “for the new owners to correct this problem”.


Addressing other distributors of PAN earlier, chief Nnamani welcomed the on-going privatisation programme of the federal government saying that the sale of PAN was very transparent.


“At the same time, we wish to further [commend] the federal government for keeping faith with Peugeot, which, in a way, has marked out Peugeot as Nigeria’s official car. Only such an abiding faith could have informed the decision to select an indigenous company as a core investor in PAN Ltd.” he said, according to allafrica.com.


Chief Nnamani has urged the federal government “to make available to the Nigerian management of PAN, substantial funds earmarked for the support of the automobile industry and to reduce drastically custom duties/rates on imports by the company, the report added.