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Stakeholders chart path to growth of automotive policy

By Benjamin Alade
15 December 2017   |   2:09 am
Stakeholders have called on Federal Government to implement an effective policy that governs the establishment of automobile industries in Nigeria, which will strengthen the imposition of high tariff on the importation of vehicles. This is in line with what countries like Russia, India, France and Malaysian government did to discourage the importation of foreign cars,…

A Car

Stakeholders have called on Federal Government to implement an effective policy that governs the establishment of automobile industries in Nigeria, which will strengthen the imposition of high tariff on the importation of vehicles.

This is in line with what countries like Russia, India, France and Malaysian government did to discourage the importation of foreign cars, as Nigeria estimated to be losing $6.5 billion to automobile import market annually, which can be saved if the local industry is fully developed and import ceases.

The huge capital flight out of the country in the automotive industry has mammoth impact on job creation and loss to the nation’s economy.

However, imports of spare parts, including sub-standard ones, and finished vehicles have continued to impact negatively on the industry.

These were the submission of stakeholders who gathered at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Annual Automobile Award (NAAA) conference organised by Automobile Search Nigeria Limited in Lagos.

An Associate Professor, Industrial Technology Education, University of Benin, Omofonmwan Godwin Osaro, said that automotive industry plays strategic and catalytic role in economic linkages ranging from materials and local industrialisation, Small, Medium and Micro-Enterprises (SME), skills development, technology and innovations, job creation, and savings in foreign exchange.

According to him, it is believed that if adequate steps are taken, the automobile technology sector in no distant time would boost the nation’s economy and create multiple employments for the unemployed youths.

Speaking on the way forward, he advised that the tax placed on the purchase of brand new cars in the country should be reduced, to encourage the buying of Nigerian made vehicles. Adding that government should increase the tariff on the importation of foreign made vehicles to discourage importation of non-Nigerian made car.

He added: “Government should articulate all problems facing automobile plants: ANAMMCO, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Leyland, Steyr and Fiat that stopped existing for some years now and think of how to fund them adequately as a way of existing automobile industries in Nigeria. Government should develop a good power supply system to run her industries.

“Government should adequately fund education to improve the level of new and innovative technological skills acquired for automobile industrial practices. The use of outdated technological method and equipment in carrying out production cannot make the industry grow as expected,” he added.

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