By G9ija

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that Nigeria expended a total of N601.51 billion on the importation of motor vehicles in the first half of 2021.

According to the report, this represented a 15 per cent increase, representing N523.57 billion when compared to the same period in 2020.

NBS disclosed this on its website, stating that vehicle imports accounted for 4.4 per cent of total imports of N13.8 trillion recorded in the period under review.

Meanwhile, a total of N1.09 trillion was spent on vehicle imports in the previous year.

Going further, in the second quarter of 2021, imports of passenger cars grew by 14.03 per cent to N311.63 billion compared to the corresponding quarter of 2020 where imports for the same item stood at N273.28 billion.

Over the past three years, Nigeria has steadily increased its import of vehicles by 195 per cent from N371.98 billion in 2018 to N1.09 trillion in 2020.

This could be as a result of an increase in cab-hailing services and technologies, like Bolt, Taxify and Uber.

By extension, as the imports of motor vehicles increased in Q2 2021, it made up 39 per cent of the total transport equipment and parts imported during the same period, which was N798.51 billion.

It is also worth noting that Nigeria imported used vehicles, otherwise known as Tokunbo worth N172.1 billion in the second quarter of the year, being the third highest imported item by value.

Recall that, in January 2021, the government revised the import duty tariff for transport vehicles from 35 per cent to 10 per cent as part of the measures to ease the cost of transportation across the country and reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.