…Pledges to halt importation
By Victoria Ojeme & Fortune Eromosele
Federal Government yesterday said Nigeria spends $8 billion annually importing vehicles in to the country. The Director General of National Automotive Design and Development Council, (NADDC) Mr. Jelani Aliyu stated this during the Unveiling of Locally Made Vehicles Assembled in Nigeria.
He added that fiscal incentives were sent to the federal government to discourage the importation of used vehicles into the country; a development he said has invariably contributed in increased tariffs on vehicles brought in while lowering tariffs on vehicles produced in the country.
Aliyu further disclosed that as part of the National Automotive Industry Plan, NAIDP, the Council has decided to curb the rate at which vehicles are brought into the country by encouraging patronage of locally made products.
He said “Nigeria spends $8 billion to bring in about 300-400 thousand vehicles into the country every year. A lot of these vehicles are old, a lot of them up to 20 years old. You buy a vehicle today and the next day you are at the mechanic (shop).
“All these money leave Nigeria, while we still need to create employment in the country. This is to say that each time you bring in a fully built vehicle; you are adding nothing to the industrialization of this country. That is why we are implementing the NAIDP- to promote vehicle production within Nigeria. It has five cardinal elements: investment promotion, market development, development of infrastructure, standards and skills development. In a nutshell, these are the five key areas that NADDC is implementing and key to that is the auto policy to promote investment.
“I sent fiscal incentives to discourage importation of used vehicles and encourage local production. We are putting forward a ten years times holiday to give enough time for investors to recoup their investment. We are also putting restrictions, higher tariffs on vehicles brought in and lower tariffs on vehicles produced in the country. We are currently, with the strong support of the presidency and our parent ministry, reviewing this policy so that it is the most effective and which will put us at a higher level above the competitors in the region.
“So far, about $1 billion has been invested by these great companies. There are at least 50,000 Nigerians benefiting from the automotive sector and that number is growing”.
Speaking in the same vein, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adebayo Adeniyi enjoined Nigerians in both the public and private sectors to patronize made in Nigeria vehicles, in order to create jobs, build capacity, drive investment, control foreign exchange and transfer technology to our citizens.
“Nigeria is moving forward in the automotive assembly and it’s not an overstatement. From zero production level in 2012, the industry has recovered thousands of newly assembled vehicles in the country. However, with the launch of the ten year old automotive NAIDP IN 2013, 52 companies till date have been registered to assemble vehicles above SKD and CKD Levels with a combined total installed capacity of 423,790 units.
“An actual assembly of 10,343 units had been achieved so far. also 41 automotive assembled companies are currently lifted under the BPP for patronage by government ministries, department and agencies. The vehicles and brands we are about to unveil are a testament to the zeal and commitment of the automotive industrial sub sector to the present government effort towards diversification and development of the non-oil sector of the economy”.