The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has condemned the 70 per cent hike in tariff slammed on imported fairly used vehicles in the country, describing it as obnoxious, anti-people and one that will induce smuggling.
In a statement issued Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Osita Okechukwu, CNPP said the policy would no doubt further impoverish the hapless Nigerians and deplete drastically the fragile middle class.
"CNPP is in quandary on how a president who went to school without shoes has wittingly abandoned the poor by dishing out anti-peoples’ policies. Yesterday, it was increase in electricity tariff, water bills, security charges, hike in medicare and school fees, fuel hike and today, the hike in the only accessible mode of transportation opened to most Nigerians.”
The group said there was hardly any existing manufacturing industry to rely on except for a few non-core manufacturing outfits, like the pure water factory.
It described the Automative Industrial Policy Development Plan of the federal governmentas defective and utopian, adding that you cannot build nothing out of nothing.
"We did warn years back of the dangers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led federal government adoption of the nebulous economic policy of government has no business in business, share the money and the assumption that the private sector will drive our economy. A nebulous economic policy which fuelled monumental corruption, decayed infrastructure, collapsed social services, low productivity and gross unemployment.
"We said then and repeated now that Nigeria’s economy is informal, primitive and that 98 per cent of the so called captains of industry have no industry, even pure water factory; hence public sector investment is imperative.
"The Automative Industrial Policy Development Plan is defective and utopian; as you cannot build nothing out of nothing. How can you reduce import dependency on automobiles when there is electricity supply deficit, iron manufacturing deficit, rail transport deficit, high cost of finance and absence of motor vehicle manufacturing plant?
"It is trite economic law that you can only protect existing factories, not futuristic factories, we must develop and address the supply side.
However, CNPP said it agreed with Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) that, “Infrastructure is critical to the development of any sector, advising that government should scale up investment in infrastructure to enhance productivity and competitiveness in the domestic economy.”
"In sum, President Goodluck Jonathan should cancel the obnoxious tokunbo vehicles import tariff; for pay-back time is fast approaching, as the masses are earnestly watching as their own is being disconnected from them, it added.