Auto dealers under the umbrella of United Berger Motor Dealers Association have cried out to the Federal Government to fastrack the reconstruction of Apapa road and its environs to save their auto business, as the association debunked the allegations of selling smuggled cars.
The auto dealers, who spoke with journalists yesterday while reacting to the allegations that the Berger auto mart was sealed by Customs over selling of smuggling cars, said that the Apapa gridlock has affected their auto business and they are dying of hungers.
According to the President General of the association, Metche Nnadiekwe, it has been God sustaining millions of Nigerians doing auto car business at Berger, saying that nothing is happening again at the market due to gridlock.
He lamented: “What we are seeing on this road, our mouth is too heavy to say it. We have never seen it like this since the creation of this country. The roads are bad, the containers and tankers are making it worst. From Berger to Kirikiri, one will spend close to four hours. I don’t know who are the owners of these trucks. Whether they are owned by the Government, the Governors or the Ministers who are untouchable because these trucks will go to the bridge and park permanently on two lanes, reserving a single lane for anybody that wants to pass. There shouldn’t be permanent Park of trucks on the bridge.
“You will see them passing through one way. Where on earth you will see a 40ft container passing one way? You will see some people standing in front of truck passing them from mile 2 down to this place. We are not doing anything here again. No reasonable buyers want to come here and patronise the millions of Nigerians that are doing business in this market. This is the biggest car market in the whole world, which is supposed to be the pride of this nation. We don’t sell again. We find it very difficult to make sales and it was not like this before”
He pleaded with the Government to swiftly do something on the road before hunger will wipe them out.
While reacting to the allegations that the market was sealed by Customs, he said the information was not true because nobody is selling smuggled cars in the market.
He hinted that all the dealers in the Berger auto mart know the implications of selling smuggled cars to the buyers, adding that no dealer would like to lose money to Customs.
He added: “And if one or two people are still bringing in smuggled cars, they are on their own. If we get such people, we will kick them out and hand them over to Customs before they embarrass this market. We don’t allow such people to bring us down. For a very long time, we have stopped smuggled cars coming into this auto mart.
“From time to time, we go on routine checks for the vehicles in the market because anybody who sells smuggled cars to customers, Customs will go on the road and seized it, then you will pay the money back to the buyer. You will be discouraged to do such thing because you are the one losing out to Customs. The moment Government says stop bringing in smuggled cars, a reasonable businessman who wants to remain in the business will stop it.”