Faced with mounting pressure from local automobile manufacturers, the Nigerian government has decided to ban the import of vehicles more than five-year-old with effect from January 2002. "This decision is aimed at protecting the country from becoming a dumping ground," said Aisha Ismail, the country's social development and women affairs minister. In August 2001, the government had announced a similar ban on the import of used air-conditioners and refrigerators, citing environmental degradation as the reason. The move was widely criticised by many people who said they cannot afford the cost of the new refrigerators and air-conditioners.
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