The Vice President,Namadi Sambo has stressed the importance of the automotive industry in the nation development, saying it serves as an important stimulus to other economic activities.
Speaking at the opening of the 14th Abuja Motor Fair recently, the Vice President said the sector is generally regarded as an engine of growth with the capability to generate employment opportunities, encourage growth of other satellite industries, enhance technology transfer and acquisition and serve as catalyst for the development of other basic industries.’’
The Vice President who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom further explained that the trust of the National Automotive policy by the government was to ensure the survival, growth and development of the Nigerian automotive industry, using local and international human and material resources with a view to enhancing the industry’s contribution to the economy.
He identified the target of the policy to include: provision of automotive vehicles for urban and rural areas; accelerated technological development; increase employment opportunities for citizens; and conservation of scarce foreign exchange.
Other targets of the National Automotive policy are: establishment of integrated automotive industry; standardization and rationalisation of the Nigerian automotive industry; increase private sector participation in the auto industry and creating conducive operational environment through the introduction of appropriate fiscal and monetary incentives.
He pointed out that the Nigerian automotive industry offers significant investment opportunities in the manufacture of vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles, as well as their components and spares, adding that the government is desirous of ensuring that more components are produced locally.
According to him, Nigeria still remains an investment haven to any investor and has what it takes to become the hub of vehicle manufacture and distribution in sub Sahara Africa. He stated that the Federal Government was aware of the challenges that led to the unfortunate state of earlier efforts to attract and retain investments in the sector and have put in measures to ensure that such will no longer arise.
To this end he said the government is seriously tackling the issue of poor infrastructure, low capacity utilization, low demands, multiple taxations, inclement investment environment, policy inconsistency, lack of access to low interest finance, unfavourable tariffs etc.
Commending the organisers of the annual Abuja Motor Fair, the Vice President said that the fair has no doubt, in its modest way contributed to the development of the automotive sector in the country and called for support from all stakeholders.
He said that the aims and objectives of the fair shows that it is in agreement with the Federal Government’s determined efforts to ensuring that Nigeria joins the league of advanced and developed economies of the world by the year 2020.