By Dickson Okafor
The Lagos State Chapter of Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria (AMDON) played host to the National President of the association, Ajibola Adedoyin and other national leaders of the association recently. They were in Lagos for this year’s annual stakeholders meeting.
The major topic on the agenda was the reopening of land border being mooted by the Federal Government and how AMDON could partner with relevant government agencies to regulate the auto business in the country. The event was also attended by major auto dealers in Lagos.
In his welcome address, Don Meche Nnadiekwe, Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of (AMDON) and President, United Berger Motor Dealers Association (UBMDA) lauded Adedoyin and his team for letting the Federal Government know of the challenges plaguing the auto business in the country and assured him of Lagos chapter’s unflinching support.
He also praised Adedoyin for helping to tackle the problem faced by auto dealers, especially on the high duty charged on imported vehicles. He said if the duty was not reduced, it would hamper the realisation of the association’s major objective of ensuring that every family in country owns a car.
In his keynote address, Ajibola Adedoyin, AMDON National President, praised the Lagos chapter for keeping the flag of the association flying in spite of the numerous challenges faced by auto dealers as a result of the border closure. He expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for considering the reopening the nation’s land borders.
Adedoyin called on auto dealers who are yet to register with AMDON to do so soon, warning that those that do not register with the association would no longer be allowed to operate. He reiterated his commitment to the pledge he made at his inauguration as AMDON president that he would transform AMDON into a respected professional body like the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), and Nigeria Union of Journalists, among others.
He said until now, the auto industry was not regulated and was an all comers’ affair, thereby making it difficult for most people to identify real auto dealers. He said he would continue to work hard to ensure that all auto dealers in Nigeria come under one umbrella.
While noting that a bill on the reduction of duty on vehicles was recently sent to the National Assembly by President Buhari, he thanked the president for not issuing a mere directive on the matter. he said by taking it to the National Assembly, the bill would become a law.
He commended the Comptroller General (CG) of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd) who said took the matter to the President.
He also spoke on why AMDON was partnering with government agencies. In his words, the law states that every business liability or enterprise must be registered and get a certificate from the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This, he said, was a way to regulate businesses in Nigeria, including the auto industry.
He said just as SCUML certificate is compulsory for auto dealers to enable them operate freely anywhere in the country, every member is also expected to obtain AMDON identity card for easy identification by the police and the public. He said the AMDON identity card is the only acceptable one for those operating in the auto industry in all the states and the Federal Capital Territory.
The National President advised those yet to obtain the AMDON identity card approved by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to do so without further delay. He warned that the association’s taskforce is empowered by law to seal any auto shop whose owner is not a member of AMDON. He said the development became necessary in order to make the association strong and united.