[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Federal government of Nigeria has suspended issuing of licenses to new vehicle assembly plants.
Mr. Aminu Jalal, the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said, while applicants in process would not be affected, the decision was to enable the council to consolidate the vehicle assembly operations and concentrate in developing local content.
According to Mr. Jalal, the NADDC’s major objective is to bring back completely knocked down (CKD) automotive assembly and develop local content.
He said: “The Council is investing over N5 billion to establish Automotive Test Centres that will ensure that the vehicles and components meet international safety and environmental standards.”
The NADDC boss, who said the response to the policy so far, exceeded the expectations of the government, affirmed that 14 existing assembly plants, namely: VON Nig. Ltd., PAN Nig Ltd., Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Nig. Ltd., ANAMMCO Nigeria Ltd., Leyland-Busan Nig. Ltd. NTM Nig. Ltd. and Steyr Nig. Ltd. started assembling new products (cars, SUV, buses, pick-up trucks) since 2014.
“Nissan, VW, Hyundai, Kia, Honda cars and SUV, Shacman and MAN Trucks and Ashok-Leyland buses are now assembled in Nigeria”, Mr. Jalal pointed out. “And 11 new companies, including Century Auto (Toyota), TATA, Coscharis Auto (FORD, Joylong, Dongfeng), Dana Motors (Renault), Globe Motors (Higer), Leventis (FOTON-Diamler), Kewalram Chanrai (GM, Mitsubishi)have been given bona-fide manufacturing status and are on track to start assembly operations this year.
“Our emphasis has now shifted to the development of automotive local content.
“Sites for automotive supplier parks in excess of 400 square hectares have been acquired across Nigeria and effort is ongoing to acquire more.
The NADDC DG also revealed that the council had commenced evaluating tenders by global consulting firms with experience in the establishment of industrial parks.