NADDC says auto sector attracted $1bn investment worth in six years

… as minister offers hope on autopilot bill passage

Director-general of the Nigeria Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelanin Aliyu, on Monday said since the commencement of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan in 2013, about $1 billion (N360bn) had been invested into the sector.

The director-general gave this figure on Monday in Abuja at the unveiling of vehicles assembled in Nigeria, and also said the investment had created over 50,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Jalani lamented the penchant by most Nigerians to patronise imported automobiles, saying over $8 billion was being sent annually to import between 350 and 400 cars into the country.

He said NADDC was currently discussing with Jaiz Bank plc and Zenith Bank plc on a N5 billion revolving vehicle financing scheme.

This scheme, he said, will enable interested Nigerians take a loan to purchase new locally assembled cars, saying the unveiling of the vehicles was a confirmation of the zeal to drive industrialisation through innovation in the auto sector.

He said with Nigeria’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the objectives of government is to make Nigeria the automotive hub in Africa.

The minister of industry, trade and investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, said the government would encourage the patronage of locally assembled vehicles through effective implementation of the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan.

The minister said that since the unveiling of the NAIDP in 2013, the auto industry had recorded thousands of newly assembled vehicles in the country.

Specifically, he said since launching the plan, about 62 companies have been register e to assemble vehicles at both the Semi-Knocked Down and Complete Knock Down levels.

He said the 62 companies have a combined total installed capacity of 423,790 units and actual assemblage of 10,342 units achieved in about six years.

In the same vein, the minister said 31 automotive assembling companies are currently listed under the Bureau of Public Procurement for patronage by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

Adebayo said the vehicles and brands that were being unveiled by the government is a testament to the zeal and commitment of the automotive industrial sector to government’s efforts towards diversification and development of the non-oil sector of the economy.

He commended the role played by National Automotive Design and Development Council in attracting investors to invest in the automotive sector in Nigeria.

He said the NADDC had given all stakeholders in the sector equal opportunity to operate.

This, according to him, had assisted in reviving the auto industry to contribute to the growth and development of the economy particularly in the area of job creation.

The chairman, House Committee on Industry, Dolapo Badiru said there is need for legislation to back up the automotive policy.

He said without an effective legislation, investors would not feel secured to put in the right amount of investments.

He lamented that the President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign the Automotive Industrial Development Bill, adding that the current National Assembly was ready to consider the bill again if repackaged by the executive.

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