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Bayero proffers solution to auto industry challenges


To revamp the country’s ailing automobile sector, Managing Director of National Trucks Manufacturers (NTM), Kano, Ibrahim Bayero, has called for the full implementation and monitoring of the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP). He also called for increased patronage of locally assembled vehicles, and immediate commencement of the National Vehicle Identification System (NVIS), as part of efforts toward achieving a vibrant industry.

Bayero argued that an exhaustive implementation of the contents of the policy, backed with biannual reporting on the progress made, would return the auto manufacturing sector to the part of sustained growth and development.He revealed this while reviewing the NAIDP, which took effect since mid 2014.

NTM Chief also recommended concessionary access to foreign exchange by stakeholders with secured contracts for government level supplies that will be strictly monitored to ensure compliance.He explained that the NVIS, which has been in the works for some time now, would create a database for the registration and monitoring of all vehicles in the country, and eliminate not only junk second-hand (tokunbo) vehicles, but also the possibility of under-payment or total evasion of duties on imported vehicles.

“This system will require any person or company importing new or second-hand vehicles into Nigeria to be registered on the database.“Once the vehicle reaches Nigeria, the importer will be responsible for making all duty and tax payments and then inputting the details of the vehicle (engine, chassis numbers or VIN plates) as well as evidence of the port of import and duties paid to the database.

“The other government agencies like the Customs will also be checking and verifying these details.“Before the vehicle can be registered with Federal Road Safety Corps and Vehicle Inspection Organization, the details will have to be cross-checked before issuance of the vehicle plate number and vehicle licence. In this manner, there will be proper checks in place to ensure that all vehicles are imported through the proper channels and the proper duties are paid,” he said.

Bayero urged the various tiers of government to ensure that all official vehicular procurements, including those by ministries, departments and agencies, as well as contractors handling government projects, benefit the auto plants in Nigeria.Contractors undertaking road construction and other projects, he argued, should not be encouraged to import vehicles that can be produced locally.

“Companies with Federal, State or local government contracts should be directed to patronise locally assembled vehicles and not given waivers for import of vehicles. For instance, road construction companies can source majority of their vehicle requirements locally, Bayero stressed.”He also recommended strict monitoring of dispersion of foreign exchange by banks, as well as the rates charged, hinting that confirmation of rates can be done by comparison between the banks and company accounts to see movement of funds.

“The National Automotive Design and Development Centre {NADDC} should be the final approving authority for bona-fide status of manufacturers in the auto sector as they possess the requisite knowledge and experience in this field. For now, the Federal Ministry of Finance plays the lead role,” he said.

NTM was established in 1976 as a joint venture company between Nigeria and Fiat of Italy. Following its privatisation in 2014, the plant located in Kano, went into the full assembly of a variety of heavy-duty trucks, tippers and light-duty trucks of Sinotruk Howo brand. It also assembles agricultural tractors, pick-ups and as motorcycles.

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