NAC to stake N7.5billion on affordable vehicle credit acquisition scheme
• Strategises on ease of doing business to attract OEMs
To improve access to new vehicles and promote the patronage of locally assembled vehicles, the Federal Government, through the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) has announced plans to unveil a credit purchase scheme for Nigerians to purchase such vehicles.
According to the Director, Policy and Planning, Luqman Mamudu, the council is contributing about N7.5 billion interest free rates into the scheme with a counterpart funding from a company in South Africa to help Nigerians get access to affordable and new vehicles.
Besides, Mamudu said the council is planning to build capacities in local assembling to attract component manufacturers to set up their factories in Nigeria in order to boost production.
Mamudu, while addressing journalists in Lagos, said: “This is what we have been working on for the past two years. We looked at the available access to asset financing in the country and we found out that the high interest rate is frustrating the purchase of a new vehicle. This is the gap we want to fill. We are currently working with a company in South Africa, which has footprints in eight African countries where they have developed a commercial and financial model to get recoup their investment
At NADDC, we are also contributing our own N7.5 billion into the scheme while the South African company will help source for finance from Development Finance Institution (DFI) at single digit interest rate. Our N7.5 billion into the scheme will be interest free.”
He added that when the funds are put together, it would guarantee an interest rate that will be easy for people to purchase vehicles at 8 to 10 per cent.
“By the time we put the funds together, it will guarantee an interest rate that is fairly okay. We are in discussion with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to originate the loans and float it so that it will be attractive for investors to partake in the scheme. Going forward, this will bring down the interest rate. This facility will be given to people that have the capacity to buy cars because we expect that they will have good credit to purchase a car.
“If you go to America, over 80 per cent of car purchases are through loans. The credit purchase scheme will assist the operators to help the masses,” he added.
He said the council is planning to build capacities in local assembling to attract component manufacturers to set up their factories in Nigeria.
“We are building three laboratories costing about N3 billion in Lagos, Kaduna and Enugu. The one in Lagos is an emission-testing laboratory to test for the level of emission. We are almost 90 per cent complete. We also have a component part manufacturing testing laboratory in Enugu. We are doing all these to prepare for the next stage of component development because this is where job opportunities are enormous, but the entire process requires patience on the side of government and investors,” he stated
“We have to encourage these Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to come with their capacity. If we create the right environment for them, they will come with their capacity to produce here and if this happens, we can export from here to earn foreign exchange. We are calling on the OEMs to use Nigeria as a hub for the whole West Africa, but we must be steady and focus so that we do not lose the opportunity,” he said.
He noted that Nigeria currently has the capacity to assemble 384,000 vehicles, but stressed that only 25,000 vehicles have been assembled so far.
He pointed out that the federal government will continue to pursue strategies to stop the influx of second hand vehicles into the country, noting that the scheme will go a long way to give alternatives to people who patronize fairly used cars.