Nigeria: More Nigerians Sell Off Cars to Feed Family

Owning a car was among the many lists of achievements for a typical Nigerian. The celebration that hits the air when one is bought knows no bounds.

Parents, relatives and friends are gathered, and the gin is used to render prayers to various gods to save the life of the car owner and the car itself.

However, the situation of the country now is making car owners sell off their cars, at least, to feed properly.

Economy & Lifestyle discovered that even those who want a car now buy the Nigerian used ones, instead of those imported into the country, popularly known as Tokunbo cars.

Today, owning a car doesn’t count as an achievement anymore.

Those purchasing the Nigerian used cars, investigations have revealed, never do so for pleasure but mostly for ride-hailing commercial transportation like Uber, Bolt and inDrive, among others.

Mr. Salami Shotunde, a worker, said he had to sell his car after parking it for days in his house, due to inability to fuel it in this increased fuel pump price regime.

“I am very sad at the present living condition of many Nigerians. It is difficult to feed these days.

“I had to sell my Toyota Camry, 2006 model, after parking it at home for months.

“Buying fuel is expensive and business is not moving at all. The most important thing now is to stay healthy, and feeding is a major part to it.

“To feed my family, I had to sell my car.”

Also, Mr. Olamide Balogun, a business man, who had just bought a Toyota Sienna brand of car, said: “I just bought a Nigerian-used Toyota Sienna car, a few days back for N3.8 million.

“That is what people buy now, because those Tokunbo cars are very expensive.

“Meanwhile, I didnt buy it for pleasure but for transport business. I was shocked to see the pain of the owner to let the car go. He confessed, it was just to keep his family that he had to sell the car”

Mr. Chiemezie Onuoha, a car dealer in Berger said that patronage of imported used cars has significantly dropped due to the high cost.

“The increased frieght, duty, logistics costs, among other things have really increased the cost of imported cars.

“By this time last year a Toyota brand car depending on the year was sold for N3 million to N3.8 million.

“But now it is as high as N7 million.

“Then sales was high because in a month I sell five to six cars.

“Now I hardly sell three cars.

“People are now interested in buying Nigerian used cars because they are more affordable.”

The federal government on June 26, 2023 announced through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that it has increased the official exchange rate used by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to calculate import duties and levies from N422.30 per dollar to N589 per dollar.

Meaning that importers will pay more import duty for the clearance of their cargoes at the nation’s seaports.

The increment recorded was as a result of the floating of naira that allowed market forces determine the exchange rate of its currency.

According to Mr. Oluwaseyi Adeji, an Engineer and a car dealer at Egbeda, the economic situation and the need to feed has led many to sell their cars.

He added:”People buying Nigerian used cars are buying the Toyota brand and Lexus brand.

“This is because the Toyota brand are fuel economical, which is the best choice in this current state of fuel increase; durable, high speed frequency and are stronger when compared to other brands.

“Apart from that, people buy them for commercial purpose. That is for Uber. And some are given the opportunity to pay instalmentally,

“Many of the newly invented sophisticated beautiful cars are not fuel economical.

“Their front wheel drive easily pulls out on high speed and their body which are supposed to be pans (coated metals), are now plastics. Technology has given them a new look.”

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