• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Nigeria’s N1.47trn car import pressuring FX, hindering jobs — NADDC

Nigeria’s N1.47trn car import pressuring FX, hindering jobs — NADDC

Nigeria’s reliance on imported cars is putting pressure on the nation’s foreign exchange market and hindering job creation, the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), says.

The council’s concern comes as the value of passenger car imports in 2023 jumped to N1.47 trillion, a 224.67 percent increase from 2022, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Speaking in Lagos on Thursday at the Nigeria Auto Industry Summit (NAISU), Joseph Osanipin, director-general of NADDC, said Nigeria must strive towards a future where it becomes not just a consumer, but also a producer of high-quality automobiles.

Read also: Why Nigeria’s luxury car market will continue to grow despite inflation

According to him, the percentage of auto industry contributions to the GDP and job creation is still very low compared to African countries like Morocco and South Africa.

While encouraging interested individuals and corporate bodies to invest in local production of vehicles and spare parts, Osanipin said NADDC was committed to supporting research and development initiatives that will lead to the creation of new technologies and solutions tailored for the Nigerian market.

“We need to support locally-made vehicles. By choosing Made-in-Nigeria cars, you are investing in the future of our nation. Let us consume what we produce and produce what we consume,” he said.

Also speaking, Wale Adeniyi, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said the proliferation of used cars in Nigeria was further weakening the naira and straining the local manufacturers in the country.

“The Nigerian car market is dominated by used vehicles imported all across the world. These vehicles are often cheaper and more affordable than their brand-new counterparts, and sometimes the locally assembled vehicles.

“These abundant and affordable used vehicles dampen demand for new locally assembled cars, and hinder growth in the domestic industry,” said Adeniyi represented by Tenny Daniyan, area controller of PTML Customs command.

He said the Nigeria Customs Service currently enforces an import prohibition on vehicles older than 15 years as contained in schedule three of the common external Ttariff, from entering Nigerian car markets as a way to reducing the import of used cars.

“This is tailored at further supporting and encouraging growth in the Nigerian Automotive Industry,” he added.

Read also: How Nigerians, lovers of brand-new cars, became ‘tokunbo’ consumers

Meanwhile, Doris Uzoka-Anite, minister of industry, trade and investment, said issues such as inadequate access to finance, limited local content in vehicle production, and the need for policy inconsistency must be addressed for the auto industry to move forward.

Represented by Olumuyiwa Ajayiade, deputy director of the industry development department, she said the government was committed to working with industry stakeholders to overcome the challenges and create a conducive environment for growth.

According to her, improved infrastructure will reduce production costs and enhance the competitiveness of locally manufactured vehicles in Nigeria.