By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA—The Federal Government through the National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, is boosting local car manufacturing with an N11 billion loan to 36 auto companies in the country.
Director-General, NADDC, Jelani Aliyu made the disclosure in Abuja during a meeting with the governor of Katsina State, Alh Aminu Masari, yesterday.
The meeting discussed a proposal for the setting up of an integrated automobile mechanic and motor spare parts village in Katsina State.
The disbursement of the N11bn to auto firms is part of moves to boost local production of vehicles and support the auto policy of the Federal Government.
The automotive policy, launched in 2014 contains a number of policy measures needed to revitalise the industry for job creation, local value addition, and technology acquisition.
At the meeting, Aliyu told the governor that of the N11bn loan, 20 companies had repaid their loan of N7.75bn in full
He explained that the cumulative amount so far repaid from the loan was about N10.04bn.
He pointed out that NADDC was constructing three automotive service hubs as part of strategies to ensure the successful implementation of the country’s auto policy.
The NADDC boss said that the proposed establishment of the mechanic village in Katsina State was in line with the automotive policy to empower Nigerians and boost local contents in the production of made in Nigeria vehicles.
Masari on his part, said the plan to establish the mechanic village in Katsina State would reduce unemployment and boost development in the state.
He said, “We all appreciate the role of transportation in the economy. In fact, it is the backbone of the economy. It has enough potential.
“The problem we have in the sector is that things are not done in an organised manner but if there is regulation, I think a lot of money will be saved. Nigeria is the only country where you can bring in a 50 year old car and will even flying the roads.
“So I think if we enforce the provisions of the law, we can have certain level of control so that the $8bn we are spending annually on vehicle importation would be used to develop the transport sector in Nigeria.”