Government commissions $1bn Made in Nigeria vehicles

* Auto companies have SKD, CKD total installed capacity for 423,790 units

* Set to create market opportunities for 1 billion Africans

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In continuation of the country’s economic diversification drive and the need to boost capacity in the manufacturing sector of the economy, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in collaboration with the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Abuja, has commissioned locally-assembled vehicles worth a billion Dollars.

Agency report indicates that the vehicles produced in the country are courtesy of 17 Mompanies, including Coscharis, Nissan, Innoson, Ford and Elizade motors, among others that are pioneering Made-in-Nigeria vehicles.

Earlier on the occasion Monday, in Abuja, FCT, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, said the vehicles would also later be used for “2020 Argungu Motor Rally’’.

The first ever Argungu Motor Rally will be flagged off by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

Mr. Adebayo stated that though the rally is an integral part of the Argungu Annual International Fishing and Cultural Festival, the NADDC has plans to convert it to an annual event for the local auto industry in the country.

The Minister said that Nigeria is advancing in the area of automotive assembly.

From zero production level in 2012, according to him, the industry had recorded tens of thousands of newly assembled vehicles in the country.

Adebayo stated that with the inauguration of the 10-year Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP 2013-2023) in 2013, about 62 companies have been registered to assemble vehicles.

He added the the companies were registered to assemble vehicles at both Semi Knocked Down (SKD) and Completely Knocked Down (CKD) levels with a combined total installed capacity of 423,790 units.

An actual assemblage of 10,343 units have been achieved so far while 31 automotive assembly companies are currently listed under the Bureau of Public Procurement for patronage, he stated.

“The vehicles and brands for unveiling are a testament to the zeal and commitment of the automotive industrial subsector to the present government’s efforts towards diversification of the non-oil sector of the economy.

“The role of the NADDC in reviving and sustaining the automotive sector has greatly helped in stimulating growth and development in Nigerian automotive industry,’’ the Minister declared.

Meanwhile, the Minister has urged Nigerians to patronise Made-in-Nigeria vehicles to create jobs, build capacity, drive investment, conserve foreign exchange and transfer technology to the citizens.

Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment also charged the auto companies to do more in the area of local content and have faith in Federal Government’s commitment to diversification of economy.

Amb. Katagum, represented by Dr. Nasir Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, said that the unveiling of the vehicles that were also slated to take part in the Argungu Motor Rally showed what the Nigerian automotive industry could offer.

Mr. Jelani Aliyu, Director-General of NADDC, remarked that so far about one billion Dollars had been invested by the auto companies whose cars were unveiled on the occasion of commissioning, while 4,700 people are directly employed in the sector.

The Agency, according to him, dedicated five billion Naira to a single digit vehicle finance scheme, and was talking with banks, such as Zenith, Wema and Jaiz to provide the financing for vehicles made in Nigeria.

NADDC is building three automotive testing centres and three automobile service hubs across the country to promote sustainability and maintenance culture, he said.

Mr. Aliyu further stated the Agency is saddled with the responsibility of developing the local automotive sector to discourage the importation of fully built vehicles in the country.

“Not just to build cars for 200 million people, but to support local producers by opening up for them market opportunities to the one billion people of the African continent,” he said.

The NADDC boss expressed dissatisfaction that Nigerians spent eight billion Dollars to import 300,000 to 400,000 vehicles yearly into the country, adding that a lot of money was at shores.

A lot of such imported vehicles were old cars, while some were up to 20 years old constituting problems to their buyers.

“That is why we are implementing the NAIDP to promote vehicle production in Nigeria with five cardinal elements around investment promotion, market development, infrastructure development and standards.

“We are proposing incentives to discourage importation of vehicles and encourage local production,” the NADDC Director-General disclosed.

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