The National Automotive Council, NAC, has signed a memorandum of understanding, MOU, with WesBank of South Africa on a financing scheme for retail and corporate acquisition of made-in-Nigeria vehicles.
WesBank, a subsidiary of FirstRand Bank Limited, is one of South Africa’s foremost banking conglomerate and a market leader in vehicle and asset finance.
Through successful partnerships with leading manufacturers, the bank also offers finance to consumers for both locally-manufactured and imported models.
The director general of NAC, Aminu Jalal, said the MOU signed in Johannesburg, South Africa on Thursday was aimed at stimulating Nigerians’ interest in acquiring locally assembled vehicles.
He said the agreement would allow WesBank collaborate with NAC in the development of financing schemes for locally assembled vehicles and making them affordable for the average Nigerian.
The CEO of WesBank, Chris de Kock, who commended Nigeria for the opportunity to invest in the emerging Nigerian automotive industry, said its management was delighted to be chosen as partner of choice with the Nigerian government.
“Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa,” he said. “This is an excellent opportunity to grow our footprint on the continent, in line with the FirstRand expansion strategy.”
According to Mr. de Kock, WesBank currently operates in other African markets like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zambia.
He said that operating in Nigeria would offer the bank opportunity to participate in some of the larger African economies where vehicles sales are expected to experience substantial growth over time.
“We believe that we have the required experience and expertise to operate successfully in developing countries, given our own experience in South Africa over the last 50 years,” he said.
The bank’s ability, he said, was in finding innovative solutions and developing country-specific products and processes that would be well-received by the Nigerian automotive market and its buyers.
Mr. de Kock expressed the hope that in due time the venture could become the biggest market for WesBank in Sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa.
The Federal Government recently approved the National Automotive Industry Development Plan, NAIDP, to attract investments from vehicle manufacturers globally to boost the supply of locally-manufactured vehicles.
To drive the new policy, the NAC recently announced that it was packaging a vehicle financing scheme aimed at making Nigerian assembled vehicles available to Nigerians at affordable prices.
The finance scheme is developed with a convenient payment terms spread over a period of about four years at a very low interest rate.
It is also intended to assist vehicle assembly plants in Nigeria to gain high volume within a very short time and to facilitate local components development. (NAN)