The Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) Mr. Jelani Aliyu (MFR) said the NADDC is repositioning the automotive sector in Nigeria and Africa with the introduction of the Automotive Bill which is waiting for Presidential assent.
He said the Automotive Bill has passed the Lower and Upper Chambers of the legislature and is currently waiting for Presidential assent. Aliyu said if the bill is endorsed, that it will allow support for local production and provide better global investment environment for the industry in Nigeria.
The NADDC Director General made this known on Tuesday in Abuja, during a National Workshop on Reducing Sulphur Fuels and Global Fuel Economy Initiative in Nigeria.
He lamented that big chunk of petroleum products are refined and imported into Nigeria, saying NADDC wants a policy which will ensure imported petroleum products meets the environmental Sulphur standard. The Council is also looking at reconfiguration of the existing ones, he said.
Aliyu disclosed that the council is frontally addressing the issues of the importation of dilapidated cars into the country. According to him, NADDC is already providing solutions to that challenge, as Nigerian can’t afford to allow dilapidated cars to keep coming into the country.
The Council, the director general said, has met with companies like Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, BMW amongst others and have reached agreements with them to come into Nigeria full time to invest huge amount of money in production of cars and spare parts.
He said the Council’s focus and commitment remains on initiating policies, implementing strategies and bringing in world class approaches that will make Nigeria become and remain the center for automotive development in Africa, saying these initiatives when fully implemented, will create unlimited opportunities for Nigeria and Nigerians in the automotive design and development sector.
He explained that once the Federal Government’s Auto Policy become a law, that Nigeria will experience an unprecedented growth and development of the sector.
“NADDC has structured the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan in full support of local automotive manufacturing and is continuously and actively working with relevant stakeholders.
“NADDC is working with partners to train over three thousand auto technicians and provide them with world class exposures. The Council is in the process of building three test centers in Lagos, Enugu and Zaria to make sure that the cars and components produced, sold and used in the country are world standard”.
Th NADDC director general revealed that the council was already working on the opportunities by the coming of electric cars, pointing out it was the direction of the future and that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind.
“NADDC is working on building PPP Automotive Supplier Parks in Nnewi, Kaduna and Oshogbo that would go into automotive components production, and the agency is engaging NAACAM of South Africa, a consortium of OEM components manufacturers that supply the big global automotive companies, NAACAM will support as part of a body of many international technical partners”.
On her part, Representative of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Ms. Jane Akamu, said air pollution which emanate from smoky cars and other factors post the highest environmental risk that accounts for about 7 million deaths in the world and 20,000 in Nigeria annually.
She said UNEP is negotiating with oil exporting countries to ensure clean fuel is imported into Nigeria and other African countries, urging Nigeria to check the standards and ensure that imported fuel is clean as obtained in countries that refine fuel in large quantities.