Prices of ‘Tokunbo’ vehicles up by 30% –

Prices of used imported vehicles, popularly known as Tokunbo, have risen following the 43 per cent hike in import duties by the Nigeria Customs Service on July 1, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

A NAN survey of prices at some automobile showrooms and auto marts in Lagos on Tuesday revealed that prices of the different brands of vehicles had jumped by between 15 and 30 per cent.

NAN reports that the NCS had through a circular issued to all its commands on July 1, directed all commands should begin charging duties based on the new forex regime.

The circular, signed by A. Adewusi, the Deputy Comptroller-General, Tariff and Trade, Nigeria Customs Service, said the imposing of duties based on the N197 to one US dollar was no more tenable.

Consequently, the customs has since hiked duties on imported items, including vehicles, by no less than 42 per cent.

At Oasis Motors, Abesan Estate, Ipaja, a 2009 Toyota Camry saloon car, which used to sell for between N2.3 million and N2.5 million before the duties hike, now costs about N2.8 million to N2.9 million.

Also the 2008 model of the same brand, which used to sell for N1.8 million now costs between N2.4 million and N2.45 million, depending on the state of the vehicle.

Waidi Sanni, who runs the showroom, said the increase affected all the brands of cars at the company.

Sani said: “Since the forex issue and the increase in duties, what it requires to clear our cars and bring them to the showroom has increased substantially.

“Accordingly, we have to increase the prices of our vehicles and this cuts across all brands.

“We are already feeling the pinch as patronage has been very low.

“Before, it used to be an average of three cars in a month, but as I am talking to you now, it is almost the end of the month and we have not sold one.”

A car dealer at Mechanic Village, Ayobo, Saidi Kilani, said he had had to increase the prices of his vehicles owing to the duties hike.

Kilani said he had in June sold a Lexus SUV for N1.8 million and found it hard re-stocking as he now needed more money to get the same vehicle, which now goes for between N2.4 million and N2.5 million.

Kilani added that a 1998 Toyota Camry, which he used to sell for between N900,000 and N1 million, now goes for N1.2 million or N1,3 million, depending on the condition.

“It is the same dollar issue and the tariff; and with the low sales we have been experiencing owing to the increase in import duties, some of us might soon be forced out of business,” he said.

A NAN check on online car marts, and also reveals that prices of used vehicles have gone up substantially.

A 62.0 2006 Mazda, which was advertised on Cheki for N1.2 million before the duties hike, now has the price tag of N1.55 million, while a 2004 Mazda MPV 2.0, which sold for N1 million, is now advertised for N1.4 million.

A 2006 Nissan Pathfinder SUV, which used to go for N2.4 million on Carmudi is now advertised for N2.8 million, while the 2003 Altima 2.5 SL of the same brand, which used to go for N1 million, is now advertised as N1.45 million.