Forex, Border Control Soar Prices Of Fairly Used Cars
The prices of fairly used cars known as ‘Tokumbo’ have skyrocketed due to tight border control and soaring exchange rates, investigations reveal. A cross-section of car dealers, who spoke with The Tide source yesterday, lamented that the development was stiffening them out of business.
A car dealer, Alhaji Ali Adamu, said that in the past one month, it had been difficult for him to move cars from Cotonou in the Benin Republic to Nigeria.
Adamu said many vehicles that were brought through unapproved routes were seized by officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
“We are all apprehensive now; nobody wants to take a risk of bringing in cars through our usual routes to avoid customs checks and seizure.
“I and other dealers here, now go to Lagos to buy already cleared vehicles where customs duties are paid on them to sell.
“By the time you add the duty charges, you will realise it is no longer business as usual,’’ he said.
Another car dealer, Faisal Shehu, attributed the increase in the current prices of cars to a high exchange rate.
Shehu disclosed that a 2008 model fairly used Toyota Camry from Europe that used to be sold at N1.8 million now sells at between N2.8 million and N3 million.
According to him, a model of Peugeot 406 is now selling at N3.2 million as against N1.8 million.
Mr Mark Atabo, who sells Nigeria used cars in Abuja said the high price of Tokunbo cars had pushed people to go for Nigeria used cars.
He said that due to the high demand and scarcity, the prices of Nigerian used cars had also gone up.
Atabo stated that the price of Nigerian used Peugeot 206 had risen to N1 million from N650,000 sold a few months ago.
He said the price of a used Honda Accord, 2008 model had also gone up to N2 million from N1.5 million.
Meanwhile, Mrs Margaret John, who came in search of a Nigerian used Toyota Camry (pencil light) said at a car mart in Abuja that she was amazed at the sudden increase in the prices of cars.
She said that for more than one month now, she has been searching for a used Toyota Camry to buy but could not get it.
She decried the high cost of Tokunbo cars, adding that she could not afford that hence the reason for her interest in the Nigerian used cars.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali, had said that the service had tightened the borders through effective policing in collaboration with customs in neighbouring countries.
Ali recently disclosed at a forum that a joint border patrol had been set up in conjunction with neighbouring Benin Republic and Niger to ensure effective policing of the borders.
“We reopened our borders and we are now working with our neighbours, our counterparts in Niger and Benin Republic.
“We have to come up with a concept that now gives us the chance to monitor and manage our borders without closing the exits and entrances.
“So, that is how we came up with joint border patrol,’’ he explained.
Ali said that every country involved had established its own patrol but there had been synergy so far among the operators of this joint border patrol.
According to him, officers and men involved in this patrol often communicate and share intelligence with one another for effective management of borders.
“If there are movements of illicit persons or goods, they communicate from that end to our end, so also we do.
“We have also exchanged the list of prohibited items, like those items the Benin Republic do not want in its country.
“So, we make sure we block them here before they cross.
“Also from the other side, there are things we don’t want to see in Nigeria”, he said.
JAMB Decries Use Of Fake Results For Admission
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has decried the high level of forgery of A Level certificates used for the registration.
JAMB Registrar, Professor Is-haq Oloyede, who raised the alarm, recalled that the Board had commenced the 2023 Direct Entry registration on Monday, 20th February but immediately suspended it following the discovery of the plethora of devices and machinations to circumvent and compromise the standard of A ‘level qualifications required from DE candidates.
He disclosed that out of 148 candidates verified by Bayero University Kano (BUK), only 6 were found to be genuine.
“By implication 142 of the results were forged. Oloyede said. Bayero University, Kano (BUK) has also consistently brought to the fore the high rate of forgery of A’Level qualifications for DE.
“It was discovered that in previous years, some candidates used unacceptable and forged A’ level certificates/ qualifications to register for Direct Entry and eventually got admitted. For example out of 148 candidates verified by BUK, only 6 were found to be genuine. By implication 142 of the results were forged.
“The Board, concerned stakeholders and institutions are working assiduously to detect such and the ones already found are being dealt with according to the provisions of the law.
“In order to further checkmate the anomaly and to also prevent recurrence of such irregularity, the Board has decided that the 2023 DE registrations will not only be restricted to JAMB (Professional Test Centres (PTCs) but will also be done under strict supervision,” Oloyode said.
“The Board has provided additional guidelines to all DE registration outlets (JAMB-owned centres), Officers of the Board and candidates on the 2023 Direct Entry registration exercise:
“At the point of registration, all candidates must fill in Registration/Matriculation Number of the previous school attended where the qualification was obtained; Subject(s) of qualification; Awarding Institution; Institution actually attended”, he said.
‘Nigerians Have Lost Confidence, Trust In INEC’
As post-election crisis gathers momentum, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria’s 2023 general elections has declared that Nigerians have lost confidence and trust in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) owing to lack of transparency and operational failures.
The EU EOM Chief Observer, Barry Andrews, made the assertion at a Media Briefing to present the Mission’s second preliminary reports, in Abuja, Monday.
Andrews noted that although Nigerians had great appetite for democracy and keen to engage in various civic activities, their expectations were dashed.
According to him, the apathy recorded at the governorship and states House of Assembly elections conducted last Saturday was a clear consequence of failures by political elites and “unfortunately, INEC.”
Andrews said: “Obstruction and organised violence limited the free expression of the will of the voters, despite efforts by civil society to promote democratic standards.
“Throughout the Mission, we saw that Nigerians have a great appetite for democracy and are keen to engage in various civic activities. However, in many parts of the country, their expectations were not met.
“Many were disappointed and we witnessed voter apathy that is in part, a clear consequence of failures by political elites, and unfortunately, also by INEC.
“Positively, INEC introduced some corrective measures ahead of Saturday’s polls, allowing a timely delivery of sensitive materials and improved use of election technologies, yet, the institution continued to lack transparency.”
The Mission also observed that voting started early with INEC ad-hoc officials present and ready to serve voters, but the exercise was unfortunately, disrupted by “multiple incidents of thuggery and intimidation of voters, polling officials, observers, and journalists”.
The Mission noted that Lagos, Kano, and other States in the Southern, Northern and Central parts of the country were mostly affected, adding that the election was equally characterised by casualties, fatalities, as well as vote-buying, which according to the observers, further detracted from an appropriate conduct of elections.
“EU EOM observers also saw misuse of administrative resources, including through various financial and in-kind inducements to voters, giving an undue advantage to the party in power.
“Furthermore, the protracted deadlines for candidacy disputes created uncertainty for voters and electoral contestants alike, while clear underrepresentation of women as candidates demonstrated a stark lack of internal party policies to support constitutionally prescribed inclusion
‘Youths To Benefit From Climate Change Innovation Hub’
The Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Sani Tambuwal, has expressed optimism that the recently established National Climate Change Innovation Hub would help in harnessing the potential among Nigerian youths towards addressing climate issues.
The CNA stated this during the commemoration of the 2023 Commonwealth Day with the theme ‘Forging A Sustainable And Peaceful Common Future’ held at the instance of National Assembly management, in Abuja, Monday.
Represented by the Deputy Clerk, National Assembly (DCNA), Barrister Kamoru Ogunlana, Tambuwal observed that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and other climate issues in the world if not properly managed, would posed great danger to world peace and a sustainable future.
He assured that Federal Government had put measures in place to address some issues on climate change through the establishment of youth climate change hub to harness their ideas and include them in decision-making process as well as develop long-term vision for zero gas emissions.
In her presentation, Mrs. Rabi Audu stressed the need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders towards forging a sustainable and peaceful environment.
Audu also urged the youths to engage in activities and programmes that would promoter innovations and inclusivity for all.
According to her, governments and parliaments have to increase opportunities for schools across the Commonwealth countries, adopt higher education partnerships and development programmes that would lead to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental conservation.
While noting that the establishment of more programmes like the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) would aid the attainment of these, Audu further stressed the need for Commonwealth member countries to establish technical and vocational education that would help in gainfully equipping the youths with skills to further tackle high rate of youth unemployment.
Some of the students who participated in the programme tasked parliaments across Commonwealth member States on the need to hold their governments to account particularly on the areas of public spending, international crisis, investment sustainability and promotion of the benefits of inclusive and diverse representation in truly open societies.
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