Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday asked the National Automotive Design and Development Council to design a comprehensive vehicle purchase credit scheme that would enable Nigerians to purchase home-made vehicles with ease.
Osinbajo issued the directive when the National Automotive Design and Development Council, led by its Director-General, Malam Aminu Jalal briefed him on the activities of the council.
According to Osinbajo, the council’s bill is taking time but it should be made to work for those who cannot afford new vehicles.
Osinbajo said he was concerned about the strategy for raising funds as well as the pressure which the importation of used vehicles exerted on foreign exchange.
He commended the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), aimed at reviving the nation’s vehicle assembly operations as laudable with the capacity to grow the automotive industry.
He further said there might be need for a high tariff on used vehicles although he expressed concern about the effect it might have on Nigerians and on transportation in general.
Osinbajo further expressed concern about the spate of smuggling of used vehicles which had impacted negatively on the economy and urged the council to work in synergy with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), to develop strategies to curb the menace.
Earlier, Jalal said one of the fiscal provisions of the National Automotive Development Policy is that it will increase customs revenue without increase in prices of assembled vehicles and make investments attractive and convenient.
He said the objective of the policy is to “ensure the revival, development and growth’’ of the automotive industry using local content.
Jalal expressed optimism that the automotive policy would curb smuggling.
He added that it had provision for imposing protective tariff and levy as well as an electronic online solution to capture the 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) obtained by NCS upon payment of duties.
He added that full implementation of the policy would lead to massive employment generation, technological development as well as its intervention in the transport sector.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jalal told State House Press Corps after the visit that the nation’s automotive industry had received very good response by investors in vehicle assembly since its policy review in 2013.
According to Jalal, the objectives of the policy are to bring back vehicle assembly plants in Nigeria using Completely Knocked Down (CKD) operations and then develop local content.
“The response has been such that we are now concentrating our effort to develop automotive local content.
“And we briefed him (VP) on some of the elements of the policy that will make it robust, including the fiscal issues, standards, steels development and market development’’, the D-G stated.
He said the automotive industry could encourage the steel industry in the country to come on stream adding that the automotive industry was recognised as one of the agents that could create many jobs and investments.
He said the council had signed an MOU with the Indian automotive suppliers association and its South African counterpart interested in investing in Nigeria.
He said the measure was to break the jinx of manufacturing engine blocks in the country as some of the organisations would bring in their technical partners via “follow sourcing’’ to supply the components for made-in-Nigeria vehicles.