Age Limit for Imported Buses and Trucks

By | April 7, 2008

I just read that the federal government of Nigeria has just decided that buses and trucks imported into Nigeria must not be older than 10 and 15 years respectively. The age limit for imported cars had already been set at 8 years some years ago, and is not always being abided by – with many import vehicles having parts like alternators, engines, oil filters, in complete disrepair/useless state. An example inspected bus was inspected to have a 17-year-old oil filter, which is atrocious given that the best oil filter will only last 3-4 years on an actively used vehicle, especially a bus. In the report – at least the part I read in the newspaper – there was no mention of air pollution. The minister of trade and commerce, Charles Ugwu, said that it was to stop the ‘importation of vehicles that would require excessive maintainance’. Well, the real reason is not really that far-fetched: the announcement was made at a meeting with the local automotive manufacturers/assemblers and major importers/distributors. Remember, Nigeria has a history of import prohibition as a trade policy instrument.

The first thing that came to mind: Tell those importers in Cotonou that business just got better.

  • Discussing this with a Nigerian car dealer living in NY. He does not seem bothered at all. He feels its just one more inconvenience. It appears that the law isn’t air tight.

  • Discussing this with a Nigerian car dealer living in NY. He does not seem bothered at all. He feels its just one more inconvenience. It appears that the law isn’t air tight.

  • Oh sure it isn’t air tight, it only makes things a bit more difficult. I am afraid that the people who are going to be affected are not the car dealers but the guys in Stuttgart, Amsterdam or Brussels who want to send a bus to their brother in Lagos.

  • Oh sure it isn’t air tight, it only makes things a bit more difficult. I am afraid that the people who are going to be affected are not the car dealers but the guys in Stuttgart, Amsterdam or Brussels who want to send a bus to their brother in Lagos.

  • It’s not only the importers but also the Port Authority, the Customs and their workers in Cotonou that are probably popping champagne !

    And while we’re discussing the car dealers or the people in the diaspora being affected, let’s not forget the people who need trucks and buses in Nigeria whether they buy them or receive them as gifts.

    And it’s funny how nobody mentions the major unintended consequence of that import age limit: poor nigerians who can’t afford recent enough vehicules spend time and ressources keeping their even older vehicules in service. And honestly, the fact that one sees so many 20 or 30 years old vehicules on Nigerian roads seems to me a bigger cause of concern (for pollution, for security) than 10 years old vehicules.

  • It’s not only the importers but also the Port Authority, the Customs and their workers in Cotonou that are probably popping champagne !

    And while we’re discussing the car dealers or the people in the diaspora being affected, let’s not forget the people who need trucks and buses in Nigeria whether they buy them or receive them as gifts.

    And it’s funny how nobody mentions the major unintended consequence of that import age limit: poor nigerians who can’t afford recent enough vehicules spend time and ressources keeping their even older vehicules in service. And honestly, the fact that one sees so many 20 or 30 years old vehicules on Nigerian roads seems to me a bigger cause of concern (for pollution, for security) than 10 years old vehicules.

  • @Random African. The party is going to be really great in Cotonou. And yea, the fact that nobody mentions these consequences shows the way policies are formulated and implemented around here.

  • @Random African. The party is going to be really great in Cotonou. And yea, the fact that nobody mentions these consequences shows the way policies are formulated and implemented around here.

  • Let me not forget the smugglers and their partners on both sides’ law enforcement !
    (yes, I said it with Jay-Z’s voice)

  • Let me not forget the smugglers and their partners on both sides’ law enforcement !
    (yes, I said it with Jay-Z’s voice)

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  • lol @ Random A using Jay-Z’s voice.

    I can only hope that this will have some impact no matter how miniscule on accident rates but there needs to be more work done in the area of vehicular education to have a significant impact.

    Thanks for the heads up on this.

  • lol @ Random A using Jay-Z’s voice.

    I can only hope that this will have some impact no matter how miniscule on accident rates but there needs to be more work done in the area of vehicular education to have a significant impact.

    Thanks for the heads up on this.

  • Ernest

    This is self interest of the government ministers ,the local auto industry and the importers. The plights of the struggling Nigerians remain unheard. Just imagine such a suggestion of 10 years, you are talking of bus or truck not more than 98 model! What is the living standard of an average Nigerians! I am not talking of `Association of better Nigerians` the politicians ,bankers and oil worker. I was planning to buy one bus to family friend who has been riding okada bike for years, with this kind of policy ,that hope is dashed. It seems the government careless about the Nigerian people. Guys in Europe sending cars and busses home is part of Nation building, there should be no strick age limitation as long as there is a valid emission limit record. Here is Sweden it is mandatory to do the emission test every year, so a car of 35years or more can be found in the street without causing any environmental damage.
    The Nigeria government position can be seen as short sighted as such decision centers on the economic gains of the auto industry and major car importers at the deteriment of the Nigeria people. The government minister on the other hand will go home with brown and swollen envelop and living the struggling Nigerians at the receiving end.

  • Ernest

    This is self interest of the government ministers ,the local auto industry and the importers. The plights of the struggling Nigerians remain unheard. Just imagine such a suggestion of 10 years, you are talking of bus or truck not more than 98 model! What is the living standard of an average Nigerians! I am not talking of `Association of better Nigerians` the politicians ,bankers and oil worker. I was planning to buy one bus to family friend who has been riding okada bike for years, with this kind of policy ,that hope is dashed. It seems the government careless about the Nigerian people. Guys in Europe sending cars and busses home is part of Nation building, there should be no strick age limitation as long as there is a valid emission limit record. Here is Sweden it is mandatory to do the emission test every year, so a car of 35years or more can be found in the street without causing any environmental damage.
    The Nigeria government position can be seen as short sighted as such decision centers on the economic gains of the auto industry and major car importers at the deteriment of the Nigeria people. The government minister on the other hand will go home with brown and swollen envelop and living the struggling Nigerians at the receiving end.

  • uzo oma

    Please, am hearing that age limit to cars being impoted into Nigeria is now set at 10 years by Yar Adua administration. Is this true?

  • uzo oma

    Please, am hearing that age limit to cars being impoted into Nigeria is now set at 10 years by Yar Adua administration. Is this true?