FG tasks stakeholders on manufacture, export of Nigerian made vehicles

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By Lucy Ogalue

The Federal Government has tasked stakeholders in the automotive sector on the need to promote made-in-Nigeria vehicles for economic growth and development.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Anite, said this on Thursday in Abuja, during a Dialogue on Automotive Component Manufacturing in Nigeria.

According to Anite, the country has the consumer base to take up all vehicles that are produced and is looking towards exporting Nigerian vehicles to other countries on the continent.

The minister said the Federal Government, on its part, was doing all that was necessary to ensure this was achieved, thus the need for stakeholders to also play their role .

“As far as we are concerned, the auto industry is set to go. The remaining part is ensuring we reduce production cost, which is why we are talking about having industrial parks or clusters.

“Where we can group people together who are producing these component parts and give them access to shared services or shared facilities.

“Access to electricity, road network and everything that they need to synergise to work together to bring down their cost of production and make it easier for them to actually produce.

“The question therefore is, how fast can you produce beyond the Nigerian markets? There is no reason why Nigeria cannot begin to export cars from Nigeria or other African countries,’’ Anite said,

According to her, we have the right platform; we have everything that we need to make that happen. So the only question is, are you ready? Can you make it happen?

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She said: “we are counting on you to make that happen. If we do not produce made-in-Nigerian vehicles before the end of this year, then it will be your fault.

“I am sitting down here and giving you all the necessary assurances that President Bola Tinubu’s administration has created an enabling environment to make sure that the auto policy kicks off.

“To make sure that we have the ability to produce our own cars in Nigeria.

“And I am also trusting that you will reciprocate by making sure that this vision and this mission happens. So, the ball is in your court.

The minister urged the component manufactures to synergies and adopt an agreement that would spur the manufacturing of cars in the country.

Anite said: “what we are taking away is that we will have a deadline for when we will come back here to sign that MoU between the component manufacturers and car manufacturers.

“This is the only way we can actually spur industrialisation and create jobs. What is most important is making sure that the industry kicks off.

“We are the biggest market in Africa. Let us even engage, see what we have, what we can do and then determine the remaining component that we must import.

“So I want to encourage everyone whether present here or not, to make sure that they key into the Nigerian Automotive Development Policy, because that policy is here to stay. ’’

On finance, the minister said the Bank of Industry (BOI) was ready to support all participants in the value chain to assess available funds.

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The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Amb. Nura Rimi commended the efforts of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) and all stakeholders involved in organising the meeting.

“Your dedication and commitment to advancing the interests of the automotive industry are commendable, and I am confident that our collective efforts will yield positive outcomes for our nation.

“I urge you all to actively engage in today’s deliberations, to share your expertise, insights, and ideas freely.

“Let us seize this opportunity to forge partnerships, explore new avenues of collaboration and develop actionable strategies that will propel the automotive components manufacturing sector to new heights of success.

“I extend my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for your presence here today and for your firm commitment to the advancement of our nation’s industrial sector,” Rimi said.

Earlier, the Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Joseph Osanipin, reiterated the need for automotive component manufacturers to synergies for economic advancement.

Osanipin said the aim of the meeting was to bring the stakeholders together to discuss their challenges and the way forward for the sector.

He then commended the stakeholders for their unwavering commitment and dedication to the sector.

He said: “your ingenuity and expertise are the cornerstones upon which our automotive aspirations are built.

“As we embark on this collaborative journey towards a vibrant and thriving automotive ecosystem, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to excellence, innovation and inclusivity.

“Together, we have the power to reshape the future of mobility in Nigeria a chart a course towards prosperity for generations to come.”

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the stakeholders while stating their challenges, called for more government intervention. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Maureen Atuonwu

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