The economic recession really bit Nigerians hard, so hard that it led to fewer vehicles being assembled and purchased.

Between the period of January and September 2017 only about 7,000 new vehicles were sold in Nigeria.

This represents 48%, an abysmal record compared to 14,500 new vehicles sold within the same period in 2016.

In case you doubt it, this information came from someone who knows. He is the Managing Director, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Kunle Ade-Ojo.

Ade-Ojo gave the statistics while speaking with journalists in Lagos on the performance of the auto industry in the third quarter of the year.

“As of the end of the third quarter of the year, the vehicle sales were 7,000 units compared to about 14,500 last year, which is a drop of about 48% in sales.

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“From the importation point of view, there is a slight improvement because in the first quarter, we had about 90% drop, but as of the third quarter, the drop had reduced to 62%,” he said.

About four years ago, the Nigerian Automotive Council (now Nigerian Automotive Design and Development Council) had given 50,000 as the annual figure of new vehicles sales in the nation as against about 500,000 for used vehicles.

Ade-Ojo attributed the fall in the sale and importation/assembly of new vehicles in the country in the last one year to the following:

1. The economic recession;

2. Increase in the import duty from 22% to 70%;

3. Drop in the value of the naira against the United States dollar and other foreign currencies;

4. Other foreign exchange-related issues.

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