Plans to adopt more stringent measures by the Economic Community of West African States on fuel grade and vehicle emission policy in Nigeria may not work this year as six roll-on roll- off vessels are jostling to discharge 2,200 used vehicles.
The vessels, which are expected to offload the vehicles at the Port and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML) at Tincan Island Port, Lagos, have been at the Lagos anchorage since December 2020 due to lack of space in the terminal.
According to ECOWAS, there is need for adoption of more stringent diesel and petrol fuel specifications commencing January 1, 2021, for all imported fuels and January 1, 2024 for all domestically produced fuels.
Based on ECOWAS ministers’ discovery, the issue of older, poorly maintained, high polluting diesel engines has not been addressed in Nigeria.
Expected at the terminal this week are Grande Tema laden with 400 units; Grande Dakar, 400units; Grande Abidjan, 400units and Grande Senegal, 300 units
Others being expected next week are Grande Lagos, 400 units and Grande Argentina, 300units as MV Grande Gabon departed the country with 350 units of used vehicles to other destination.
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’shipping data revealed in December, 2020, that 13 vessels offloaded some used vehicles at the terminals. Within one year, the country imported some used vehicles and motorcycles valued at N1.28 trillion.
According to National Bureau of statistics (NBC), the vehicles were shipped into the country between Q3’19 and Q2’20 as against the N899 billion recorded between Q3’18 and Q2’19, implying an increase of 42 per cent.
The used cars were majorly imported from countries like the United States, Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Germany and Canada. It was gathered used vehicles imported into Nigeria was estimated at N799.5 billion, while imported motorcycles, most completely Knocked Down (CKD) was estimated at N477.1 billion.
Also, in 2018 N564.9 billion vehicles were imported andN335 billion motorcycles.
According to the United States Department of Commerce (USDC), U.S used vehicles export to Nigeria, Benin among others have already risen to826,000 units annually.
The USDC statistics indicated that the Nigeria imported 82,180 units of vehicles from the America in 2018 as against 48,899 units in 2017
It noted: “Vehicles purchased with New York issued state documents that are already loaded will not be allowed to depart without CBP validation and will have to be off-loaded and returned to our warehouses, for storage.
“Please before buying any cars from any auction or dealer make sure the title is not a New York issued title.” It would be recalled that in 2020, 16 vessels laden with 6,150 used vehicles berthed at the port after they were quar antined.
The vessels include Grande Ghana, 300 units; Hoegh Singapore, 450 units; Grande Dakar, 400 units; Rep Argentina, 300 units; Grande Sierra Leone, 300 units; Grande Senegal, 350 units; Grande Lagos, 400 units; Grande Cameroun, 300 units; Grande Luanda, 400 units andGrande Costa D Avoiro, 350 units.
Others are Grande Cotonou, 400 units; Rep Del Brasile, 300 units; Grande Congo, 350 units; Grande Abidjan,450 units; Grande Guinea, 300 units and Grande Tema, 400 units.