By Felix Khanoba
The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) says close to N400 billion has been invested by major automobile producers and assemblers in the country.
Director-General of NADDC, Mr Jelani Aliyu, who disclosed this on Monday in Abuja during the unveiling of Nigerian produced and assembled vehicles, said the about 18 companies, which include Innoson, Nissan, Kia, among others, invested the money in the sector by leveraging on the National Automobile Industrial Development Plan (NAIDP).
“So far about one billion dollars, close to N400 billion, has been invested by these great companies, whose cars you see to the left and right of us. These are some of the big investors and this is as a result of the continued effort of NAIDP with the collaboration and support of all government and private stakeholders.
“At least 4,700 people are directly employed in the automotive sector, and by extension for the fact that for every one job in the factory about 10 are created down the line, we estimated that 50, 000 people have benefited (in employment) from the automotive sector,” Jelani said.
While lamenting the 8 billion dollars Nigeria loses annually in bringing 300,000 to 400,000 vehicles into the country, the NADDC boss said such huge import constitutes a major drain on the nation’s economy.
Jelani, who commended the Federal Government’s renewed drive to reposition the automotive sector as one of the mainstays of the economy, said the agency is putting in place several measures to ensure that brand new locally made vehicles are available to Nigerians.
“We are promoting a set of fiscal incentive to discourage importation of used vehicles and encourage local production. We are putting forward a tenure tax holiday to give enough time for investors to recoup their investments and we are also putting restrictions and higher tariffs on vehicles brought in and lower tariff for vehicle produced in the country,” he said.
Unveiling the locally produced and assembled vehicles, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, expressed delight that from zero production level in 2012, Nigeria can now boast of thousands of locally produced cars.
The minister revealed that with the coming into force of NAIDP in 2014, 62 companies have so far been registered to assemble vehicles in the country with the combined total installed capacity of 423,790 units.
On the Federal Government’s quest to ensure patronage of made in Nigeria vehicles, the minister said 31 automotive assembly companies are currently listed under the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) for patronage by relevant government agencies.
Also speaking at the event, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, said there is need for all government agencies to patronise locally made and assembled cars in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’ Executive Order on Local Content.
Companies which participated at the ‘Parade Of Nigeria Produced/Assembled Automobile’s event include Innoson, Nissan, Kia, Ashok Leyland, Hyundai, Kojo Motors, Changan, Globe Motors, Yutong and Elizade.
Others are JAC Motors, Honda, PAN Nigeria, Higer, Coscharis Group, Ford and GAC.