30 vehicle manufacturing plants set to open in Nigeria, says auto council

The country had 14 existing plants at different locations in the country.

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The National Automotive Council on Tuesday announced that plans had advanced for about 30 vehicle manufacturing plants to open business in the country.

The Director, Policy and Planning, Lukman Mahmud, said this was in line with the Federal Government’s plan to ensure local production of vehicle components begins in-country.

The arrangement would ensure the distribution of vehicle parts through the Nigerian automotive industry at competitive prices, to create employment opportunities for the people.

Prior to the introduction of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan by the Federal Government in 2013, the country had 14 existing plants at different locations in the country.

According to Mr. Mahmud, the provision of incentives and protection to the industry under the new auto policy persuaded 16 fresh companies to establish their assembly plants in the country.

Some of the plants that were already operational in the country, but were forced to shut down due to the influx of imported fairly-used vehicles, including Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, Leyland, Fiat, Volkswagen and Mercedes, would bring into the country complete knock-down vehicles.

Mr. Mahmud said the idea of Semi-Knock-Down and Complete Knock-Down import is to address the demand from the automobile market due to eventual hike on tariff and levy of imported fairly used cars.

The director said the policy made provision for high patronage from government and credit purchase scheme, to allow middle class Nigerians buy cars at affordable prices and pay back within 36 to 46 months and at single digit interest rate.

The modalities for the credit scheme, he said, were being worked out with all stakeholders in the sector to curtail smuggling of used cars.

When the desired stability is achieved and the demand from the market met, Mr. Mahmud said the manufacturers would buy the component parts locally.

“Plans are in top gear to revive the auto glass company in Ibadan, car seat company at Kaduna, Nocaco Auto Wires, exhaust pipes and many more vehicle parts and consumable producers in the country are planning to set up,” he said.

The council, the director said, has established material testing laboratory in Zaria, Kaduna State; components testing laboratory in Enugu, and emission testing laboratory in Lagos.

“All these are to ensure that the components to be produced in Nigeria are of international standards,” he said.

He said that a critical element of the policy was under legislation at the National Assembly to avoid policy somersault and protection of the investors in the sector.

(NAN)


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