• Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Opponents of auto-policy still fighting dirty- NADDC DG

The director-general of the  National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Aminu Jalal has said that those opposed to the new automotive policy in the country had not given  up. He identified  those fighting to truncate the ongoing policy which he noted has started yielding fruits as some vehicle dealers and  clearing agents at the nation’s seaports.

Both groups he added  were behind an ongoing campaign to derail the transformative auto policy in order to sustain their brisk business of massive vehicle importation.

According to him, they petitioned the National Assembly and the Presidency in June, alleging that some automobile companies were exploiting loopholes in the policy to defraud the  federal government.

Their ultimate objectives, he regretted was to poison the mind of policy makers against the policy so that it could be discontinued aiming to achieve is a reversal of the policy, which is gradually bearing fruits in the area of discouraging vehicle importation and promoting local production.

“These are the same people who have refused to set up assembly plants in the country to create jobs for our people, but want to continue to import, and they have been publishing all kinds of advertorials in the print media under fictitious names, and sponsoring false reports just to push through their agenda.

“In fact, they petitioned the Presidency and the National Assembly in June The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), said those opposed to the new automotive policy in the country had not given up.

Aminu Jalal, director-general identified the antagonists as some vehicle dealers and seaport clearing agents.

Jalal said both groups were behind an ongoing campaign to derail the transformative auto policy in order to sustain their brisk business of massive vehicle importation. According to him, they are alleging  that some automobile companies were exploiting loopholes in the policy to defraud the federal government.

Their ultimate objectives, he said, was to poison the mind of policy makers against the policy so that it could be discontinued. “What these people are aiming to achieve is a reversal of the policy, which is gradually bearing fruits in the area of discouraging vehicle importation and promoting local production.

“These are the same people who have refused to set up assembly plants in the country to create jobs for our people, but want to continue to import.

“They have been publishing all kinds of advertorials in the print media under fictitious names, and sponsoring false reports just to push through their agenda. We have replied the petitions and made them to understand that these are the handiwork of people who want to keep feeding at the expense of the country,’’ Jalal said.

He emphasised that the country could no more afford massive importation of vehicles in the face of rising unemployment and devaluation of the naira.

He advised those fighting the council and the policy to start exploring the numerous opportunities abound in the country for the development automotive industry.

“The dealers and clearing agents are the two sets of people that are right now still against us. They are afraid that if the importation of used cars is drastically reduced and the local assembly plants start massive production they will be out of job.

“But we are telling them that they can still be dealers to the assembly plants, because there will be internal supply of vehicles and they are the ones to sell them.  He disclosed that the dealers and clearing agents are the two sets of people that are right now still against us. They are afraid that if the importation of used cars is drastically reduced and the local assembly plants start massive production they will be out of job.

“But we are telling them that they can still be dealers to the assembly plants, because there will be internal supply of vehicles and they are the ones to sell them. The clearing agents on their part are still the ones to clear the vehicle parts that are being imported, and I wonder why they are complaining,’’ he said.

Import duty on cars, both old and new, was raised from 22 percent to 70 percent under the policy to discourage importation.

Mike Ochonma