CHAIRMAN of Nigeria Automotive Manufacturers Association, NAMA, Mr. Adetokunbo Aromolaran, who also spoke on the policy said if appropriately implemented, it will engender an enabling, stable environment that will attract investors who will establish auto plants in the country.
He explained that the idea behind the policy is to discourage the importation of fully built vehicles into the country so as to create employment for the citizens and prevent the country from becoming a dumping ground for used vehicles from abroad.
Aromolaran noted thus: “The whole idea is to discourage the importation of fully built vehicles. We are only consuming and not producing; this is not good for the country.
“We should employ our youths, make components by using our human resources and save our scarce foreign exchange.
Implementation of the policy
“For now, whatever is happening in the sector, it is a function of what is happening to the economy. The weak exchange rate, scarcity of foreign exchange, etc., are all contributing factors.”
The NAMA boss who is also the Managing Director of VON Nigeria, however, indicated that the country needed to focus on infrastructure, adding that the roads are bad and with the rain, it has become even difficult to get the goods across, while power supply is not improving.
He noted that full implementation of the policy is what is required to make the auto industry vibrant again. “If we are able to implement the policy properly, it will help local assembly plants to grow and prices of new cars will come down as we will produce in large quantity.
“Low tariff for SKD and CKS is ideal for now and should be removed as we progress along the line. Little by little, we shall get there if we follow the policy consistently,” he said.
According to him: “Nigerians are trying to build vehicles locally so that foreign exchange will not be wasted in importing fully built ones and we willl keep our people in employment. Every time we buy a vehicle from abroad, we are keeping their people in employment while our young graduates are denied employment.”
He, however, disclosed that some commercial vehicles produced in the country have appreciable local content input and commended the government for the choice of Jelani Aliu, an engineer, as the Director General of NADDC, saying that he has what it takes to drive the nation’s auto industry.
He, however, warned that he should be given the opportunity to excel, stressing that: “He has the experience and great understanding of the industry. We should support him, hear his strategies and give him the time to move the industry forward.”