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Huge market, high middle class population key drivers of auto policy bill—Minister
The Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo has given clear reasons why the ministry is working with the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) for the representation of the automotive bill to the National Assembly for consideration and passage.
Recall that the bill was earlier passed by the National Assembly in 2018 and sent to the President for consideration and assent, but was rejected on grounds of several concerns and issues red-flagged by several key stakeholders which forced Mr President to deny it assent.
However, giving fresh insights in Lagos at a recent government and stakeholders’ dialogue session on the draft automotive bill, Adebayo averred that the government needed the policy to come alive to protect the investment commitment in the automotive sector with legal backing to sustain investors’ confidence and drive wealth creation.
According to the Minister, the rich Nigerian market and growing population of the middle class remained key driving factors for investors with enormous opportunities inherent within the automotive sector.
He assured that the emerging legal framework for the nation’s auto industry would give way not only for cheaper cars, but job creation in the auto industry for Nigerian youths and further economic diversification.
Earlier in his remarks, the NADDC boss, Jelani Aliu has averred that Nigeria’s automobile industry received a boost with over $1billion investments from renowned auto manufacturers in 2019, thereby lifting capacity to at least 408,870 vehicles yearly.
The manufacturers, which include Innoson Motors, Honda, Peugeot, and Mitsubishi among others, have also created employment for about 4,782 Nigerians.
He noted that his agency has put in place a N5billion vehicle finance package to assist Nigerians buy new cars, repayable at agreed terms instead of the current craze of patronising fairly-used cars, which has continued to drain the nation’s foreign reserves, and creating jobs for other countries.
In his submission, Aliu added that “Nigerians can now put down say, 10 percent of the value of cars they wants to buy and spread payments for over five years. This arrangement has been concluded with some selected banks in the country with the support by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). If we go this way, our citizens will also begin to enjoy ridding new vehicles.”