By Felix Khanoba
A group of over 20 foreign investors and consultants has expressed readiness to ensure the nation’s automotive industry has the capacity to produce up to 60,000 cars per year.
The delegation, which visited the country to assess the potentials of the sector, said their business intention in Nigeria is to domesticate aspects of their manufacturing and supply value chain.
A statement made available to The AUTHORITY on Monday by Bisi Daniels, Strategy and Communications Adviser to Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, quoted the leader of the delegation, Thomas Schaefer as saying that the move would replicate the production level in South Africa.
“The plan is to have short, medium and long-term approaches that target growth in the manufacture of cars in Nigeria, similar to the over 60,000 cars produced per annum in South Africa,” Schaefer, who is the Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, said.
Schaefer also requested that Nigeria’s new automotive policy be passed into law as it has the potential to activate their investments and unlock the growth of Africa’s automotive sector.
On his part, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah described the efforts of the investors as boost for the development of the automotive sector in the country and the rest of Africa.
The international investors in the African automotive industry were in Abuja, Lagos and Edo states to engage various stakeholders on how to leverage the massive potentials in the sector.
In separate meetings, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Enelamah, assured of Federal Government’s commitment to revamp the automotive sector.Osinbajo said government has the political will to implement the auto policy.
“There have been some difficulties with the implementation approach,” he said, “but this is the time we have considerable political will. If we can get the individual components right, we should be able to fly with this policy.”