25,000 made in Nigeria ve­hi­cles ready this year

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Sun­day Michael Ogwu

Nigeria auto man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies will pro­duce 25,000 ve­hi­cles by the end of this year, while the new tar­iff regime for the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try will take ef­fect from July 1.

Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Na­tional Au­to­mo­tive Coun­cil (NAC) Aminu Jalal dis­closed this at a me­dia round­table in Abuja yes­ter­day.

Jalal said: “Man­u­fac­tur­ers plan to pro­duce 25,000 made in Nigeria ve­hi­cles by the end of 2014 and they will be given the con­ces­sion to im­port two ve­hi­cles for ev­ery one pro­duced to fill the gap that is likely to be cre­ated by the pol­icy on the short run.

“We have over 15 com­pa­nies that are ready to com­mence the pro­duc­tion of ‘made in Nigeria cars’. We are also col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Stan­dard Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Nigeria (SON) on tech­ni­cal and qual­ity au­dit that will en­sure that what is pro­duced in Nigeria is com­pa­ra­ble to global best stan­dards.”

The federal govern­ment launched the Na­tional Au­to­mo­tive Pol­icy in Oc­to­ber 2013 to en­sure the sur­vival, growth and de­vel­op­ment of the Nige­rian au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try us­ing lo­cal hu­man and ma­te­rial re­sources. This, ac­cord­ing to the govern­ment, will en­hance the in­dus­try’s con­tri­bu­tion to the na­tional econ­omy in the ar­eas of em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion, tech­nol­ogy ac­qui­si­tion, ef­fec­tive util­i­sa­tion of lo­cal raw ma­te­ri­als and re­sources and in the trans­porta­tion of people and goods.

Jalal said: “We are dis­cussing with Real Mer­chant Bank of South Africa to de­velop and in­tro­duce their suc­cess­ful pro­to­type of af­ford­able ve­hi­cle pur­chas­ing scheme at 10 per­cent in­ter­est rate spread over a pe­riod of four years with a new ve­hi­cle to cost around N1.7 mil­lion.”

He said NAC has also set aside some funds through a mi­cro­fi­nance bank to ad­vance soft loans to auto me­chan­ics to en­able them pur­chase mod­ern work­ing tools re­quired for to­day’s auto ser­vice.

“At the high end, we have de­signed a syl­labus with the Na­tional Uni­ver­si­ties Com­mis­sion for the study of au­to­mo­tive en­gi­neer­ing in our uni­ver­si­ties which has been avail­able to 15 uni­ver­si­ties in Nigeria with three of them al­ready avail­able for study,” he added.

The DG also said that NAC has ad­vanced a to­tal of 11 bil­lion to about 36 lo­cal con­tent com­pa­nies that are ex­pected to feed the ma­jor auto cen­tres. The lo­cal con­tent funded in­cludes chem­i­cals, bat­ter­ies, rub­ber plan­ta­tion, brake pads, tire re-thread­ing among oth­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to Jalal: “Nigeria ex­pended $4 bil­lion in 2010 and $3.45 bil­lion in 2012 for the im­por­ta­tion of cars. The im­por­ta­tion of spare parts and tyres are the largest users of our for­eign ex­change while an­other one bil­lion dol­lars is ex­pended for five mil­lion lo­cally con­sumed tyres in Nigeria.

“We are also work­ing with the Federal Road Safety Com­mis­sion and the Nigeria Cus­toms to com­bat smug­gling of sec­ond hand ve­hi­cles so as to al­low the pol­icy to suc­ceed.”

While speak­ing on the need to take care of the men­ace of ac­ci­dented and aban­doned ve­hi­cles, Jalal said: “We are also work­ing with a Ja­panese com­pany through the Ja­panese De­vel­op­ment Agency to set up three pi­lot cen­tres in three cities across the fed­er­a­tion. They will re­cy­cle old and ac­ci­dented ve­hi­cles from our en­vi­ron­ment.”

He lamented the non-ex­is­tence of a law that takes care of ac­ci­dented ve­hi­cles hence the vis­i­ble pres­ence of aban­doned ve­hi­cles adorn­ing our en­vi­ron­ment. He hinted that NAC is de­vel­op­ing a draft re­cy­cling law for the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try.

Min­is­ter of Trade & In­vest­ment, Oluse­gun Aganga

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