RTEAN seeks revision of automotive policy, targets 45,000 jobs
THE Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to grant a six-month extension of its new automotive policy.
The National President of the Association, Musa Isiwele, who stated this in Abuja, explained that the extension is necessitated by lack of capacity of local automotive manufacturers to meet the demands of transporters.
Isiwele stated that the association’s nationwide mass transportation scheme, which is expected to create new 45,000 jobs in the transport sector, might be threatened by inadequate buses to achieve the plan.
The union therefore appealed to the Federal Government to grant a further six months extension to the full implementation of the national automotive policy in Nigeria and also seek a 70 per cent waiver on the over four thousand commuters vehicles including high-capacity buses that will be imported into the country as part of the transport scheme.
The union stressed that though it supports the Federal Government auto policy, which seeks to encourage local manufacturing of cars and buses, it stated that the reality on ground shows that local manufacturers are still unable to meet the production demands of Nigerians at the moment.
Isiwele said: “We are running a nationwide mass transit scheme in which most of the vehicles will be dedicated to students, workers, persons with challenges and the less privileged at a low price in order to support the transformation agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the benefit of the good people of Nigeria and this will help in reducing the hardship in vehicular movement of commuters and boost the economy of Nigeria transport system.
“Although, the initiative is coming at a time that the Federal Government is discouraging importation of vehicles and encouraging local manufacturing of vehicles, we support the government automotive policy but we are still appealing that local manufacturers can’t meet the demand of our nation at the moment.
“The scheme when fully implemented will generate employment opportunity for over 45, 000 young Nigerians who are in the labour market, with additional 10, 000 layoff mechanics, technicians and artisan engineers will be recalled.”
The union further appealed to youths, workers, national assembly and civil society organizations for their support towards the project, which it said will boost transport sector and subsidize transport fare.