By Obinna Amaobi, Abuja
The Director General National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu says more investments will come into the Nigerian auto industry when the National Automotive Industry Design and Development Bill becomes law.
He made this known in an interview in Abuja, saying that the bill which is the brain child of the council when implemented, would guarantee that the automotive businesses in the country are recognized by law and even if there are changes in administration or government, the policy would remain.
According to him, the bill when it becomes law would attract investors into the country’s automotive industry and also put local content at the forefront.
The Board of the agency, according to Aliyu, has approved the setting up of Public Private Partnership automotive service hubs all over the country.
He said the auto hub will have a centralised service area for the auto sector, which will serve as a yardstick for auto repairs, we will also come up with auto service centres.
“The PPP has reached an advanced stage and we are waiting for approval from the Federal Executive Council, and also the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission to give us the approval for the full business scale.”
It will be recalled that the Federal Government had in October 2013 approved the execution of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan. Skills development, Small and Medium Enterprises, economic linkages, employment creation and innovation and technology transfer are the major focus of the plan.
He also said the development is coming about two years after the council’s confirmation of its approval of forty-five companies that signified interests in building vehicle assembly plants in Nigeria, following the Federal Government’s introduction of an auto policy meant to discourage importation of fully built vehicles.
The NADDC boss said a total of nine auto manufacturing companies are currently assembling vehicles in Nigeria,
The nine firms assembling vehicles in the country are Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, Nissan Motors, Honda Motors, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Hyundai Motor Company, Ford Motor Company, GIC Motor Companies Ltd, JAC Motors and Kia Motors.
He also said Volkswagen would soon be setting up an automobile hub in Nigeria, adding that a Memorandum of Understanding to that effect had already been signed between the Federal Government and the company.
Aliyu said the development is coming about two years after the council’s confirmation of its approval of 45 companies that signified interests in building vehicle assembly plants in Nigeria, following the Federal Government’s introduction of an auto policy meant to discourage importation of fully built vehicles.
“Under the agreement, Volkswagen would implement a phased approach in relation to the assembly of vehicles, initially from assembly kits with the long-term view of establishing Nigeria as an automotive hub in the West Coast of Africa,” he said.
The automotive policy, inaugurated in 2014, contains a number of measures needed to revitalise the industry for job creation, local value addition and technology acquisition.
It has six components, which are standards, industrial infrastructure, local content development, skills development, investment promotion and market development.
The NADDC boss explained that Nigeria had started seeing the results of the auto policy with nine local automotive firms assembling vehicles.
“Any new company that sets up to produce vehicles in the country will be given a ten year pioneer tax status to help them recuperate the huge investment, adding that the automotive sector requires hundreds of millions of dollars to set up a plant”, the NADDC boss said.