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NADDC currently working on the return of Peugeot, VW to Nigeria—Aliyu

Strong indication has emerged on the possible return of leading auto giants, who had earlier left Nigeria for greener pastures in no distant time.

This was revealed by the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Jelani Aliyu at the ongoing 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) holding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), on Tuesday.

He revealed that his Council is currently strengthening relationships with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like Peugeot, Volkswagen to return to the country for production.

Business Hilights recalls that the automobiles had left Nigeria in 1986 following crash in crude oil price.

Aliyu noted that “Some of those companies left, adding however that they started returning since implementation of the National Automotive Industrial Plan (NAIP) commenced.”

“Peugeot is back and just recently we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Volkswagen for them to come back to Nigeria.

“That means that their coming back will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

“Honda recently celebrated its 40 years anniversary in Nigeria and last year, the company introduced a brand new Honda HRV which is assembled in Otta, Ogun State.

“To prove that the vehicle is right for Nigeria, the company’s official drove it all the way from Otta to Abuja,” elated averred.

Giving further insights at the ongoing 39th Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) holding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), he noted that developing standard infrastructure for indigenous production of vehicles will create jobs, grow the economy and give Nigerians the opportunity to explore their potential.

In his views, “NADDC is about to ensure standards with automotive components, cars and to that effect, we are about 85 per cent complete on the construction of three automotive device testing centres across the country.

“In Zaria, we will be testing materials that will be used for automotive production, in Enugu, we will be testing components that will go into vehicles and in Lagos, we have an emission testing lab for testing of emissions.

“By the time these centres are fully running, vehicles or components sold in Nigeria would have been tested, certified and approved, otherwise it will be illegal to have that in Nigeria,” he said.

Aside other feats so far achieved by the Council, Aliyu averred that more infrastructure were being put in place even as work is ongoing to develop three other locations in Kaduna, Osun and Anambra states for the construction of automotive industrial parks.

He revealed that the Council had trained 300,000 youths in 2018 on skills needed for automotive construction, adding that same skills acquisition was presently going on, adding that “We want to empower youths and make them sustainable and ensure they understand new automotive technology.

“We have also started the design of an ambulance that can reach any location in Nigeria because 50 per cent of our population reside in remote areas.

“We are looking at a vehicle that can take medicine to people in need. We have also started the design and development of the Nigerian vehicle that will be affordable and enable the economy to grow.

“We are working to develop a vehicle that will be in tune with the culture, climate and terrain, as well as the economic structure of the Nigerian population.

“This will be a brand new vehicle between the cost of three and five million naira,” he said.