The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has ranked Nigeria as Africa’s highest importer of used vehicles from the United States, and the third in the world, in its latest report. The other countries which topped Nigeria on the chart are the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Mexico.
According to UNEP, 14 million light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs and minibuses) were exported to low and middle-income countries between 2015 and 2018.
“40 percent of that total ended up in Africa,” it said.
The United Arab Emirates is the top importing nation with 389,302 cars while Mexico is a distant second with 281,545. Nigeria is the third, importing 203,136 cars from the U.S. within the period under review.
The European Union accounted for 54 percent of all used vehicle exports during that period, followed by Japan’s 27 percent and the United States’ 18 percent.
Despite accounting for a lower share of total used vehicle exports than the EU and Japan, the U.S. still shipped 2.6 million overseas between 2015 and 2018 with a collective value of $24.5 million.
Further details of the report show that in Africa, more than 60 percent of vehicles added annually is through the importation of used vehicles.
This, however, varies greatly, from zero in South Africa, which has a total ban on imports to 97 percent in Kenya.
The report also said that in South America, many countries ban the importation of used vehicles, but some like Paraguay, add more than 90 percent of used vehicles each year to their fleet.
“Most vehicle growth in Central America and the Caribbean is from used vehicles. In Asia and the Pacific, the share of used vehicle imports is lower, because India, China, and many Southeast Asian countries ban the import of used vehicles. However, there are substantial imports of used vehicles in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Cambodia, among others,” part of the report read.
Experts have warned that the export of millions of used vehicles to developing countries is a major contributor to air pollution. This is why some countries banned the importation of used vehicles.
“Countries and cities are increasingly adopting policies and setting targets to reduce emissions from their vehicle fleets. They use a set of measures for this – including better urban planning, prioritizing non-motorized transport, promotion of public transport, and cleaner vehicles,” the report added.