Reports say the United States Embassy in Abuja was flooded with American investors who wanted to make enquiries about Nigeria’s automotive industry.
Pulse.ng reports that this is as a result of president Muhammadu Buhari’s recent visit to the USA, as the investors were apparently impressed with the Nigerian leader’s presence and quality of his delivery.
The report further revealed that the embassy’s Counselor for Economic Affairs, Mr Alan Tousignant, during his visit of Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) on Friday in Abuja, explained the reason for the investors’ visit.
Mr Bello Rasheed, the Principal Executive Officer (Information) of NADDC, explained that Tousignant visited to make enquiries on the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), expecting to get answers for the deluge of inquiries from the American government and its business community on the NAIDP.
“Tousignant said that there had been an upsurge in the amount of business inquiries from America since the recent visit of President Buhari to the U.S.
“He told the NADDC DG that quite a number of the latest inquiries from potential American investors were on the Nigeria auto industry.
“Therefore, he needed to know about applicable staff structure, incentives, availability of skilled personnel, current total installed capacity, local value addition and industrial clusters and infrastructure.
“He also asked questions on applicable safety standards, annual national vehicle demand, export potential to other countries, among others,” a statement by Rasheed hinted.
The NADDC DG, Mr Aminu Jalal, was also excited by the “keen interest shown by American companies and businessmen in the industry” and he told his visitors that two American automobile giants, Ford Motors and General Motors, had confirmed their interest in starting vehicle assembly operations in 2016.
“The NADDC DG explained that Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa with very huge market for automobiles. He stressed that the auto policy is intended to transform Nigeria into a major vehicle manufacturing hub for leveraging on Nigeria’s abundant trainable labour force and material resources especially petrochemical-based.
“Jalal told Tousignant and members of his team that with a population of over 170 million, Nigeria could not continue to run an import dependent economy,’’ the statement said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had blasted president Buhari over his visit of the US, stating that he embarrassed the country while in the White House.