[dropcap]D[/dropcap]irector, Policy and Planning, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Luqman Mamudu, has assured Nigerians that the federal government is determined to capitalize on the gains of the auto industry by addressing crucial issues hindering additional investment by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).
He revealed this in a statement exclusively mailed to Motoring world International, this past week.
Mr. Luqman said a task force constituted recently by the Ministry of Trade and Investment will soon complete its assignment in addressing sensitive concerns bordering on: constraints to the inflow of KD inputs through the ports; the unrestricted inflow of USED vehicles which tend to limit market for newly built vehicles; and Strategies to improve investors’ confidence in Nigeria.
The NADDC director also mentioned that, “NADDC is already equipping its automotive test laboratories located in Lagos, Enugu and Zaria in readiness for the industry’s need for quality assurance. The laboratories will be certificated by global accreditation agencies because the automotive industry anywhere has to be globally competitive.”
He also assured that “The local content objective of the NAIDP is being equally attended to, because as the operating capacity grows and attains a critical mass, the component parts manufacturers will focus attention on Nigeria” for which reason Mr. Luqman said the country has to be ready for.
Explaining further he revealed that “UNIDO will be undertaking a study of the defunct component parts manufacturing this year and Kaduna and Osun state governments have granted NADDC C of O for a combined land area of 400 hectares to build automotive supplier parks.
“A consultant to undertake Outline Business case study has been appointed and NADDC is in partnership with BOSCH to develop human capital for the industry among others. It has scheduled the first of a series of workshops for assemblers for the 10th of October 2016 in Lagos.
Mr. Luqman also opined that “the various OEMs also come with very robust training program for Nigerians. The ECOWAS has adopted the automotive industry as part of its region wide industrial policy and are in discussion with NADDC to include sourcing of components parts from member countries with capacity.”
In a reiteration, Luqman however re-emphasized that “the Nigeria automotive industry has the capacity to lead the economic diversification process and we should all support it to gain full potential.”
“The import bill for automobiles is too high,” he noted, adding, “and may undermine Nigeria balance of payment position, if not gradually reduced through local value addition which is what the NAIDP offers.”
In conclusion, Mr. Luqman reassured that though, “all Nigerians may not be able to buy cars immediately, but most Nigerian Haulage firms and mass transit companies will re-fleet with new vehicles for improved standard of living of Nigerians.”
“The process,” he stressed, “requires patience, patronage and assurances to OEMs by all Nigerians. A modest level of employment has already happened and this will continue.”
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