Osinbajo condemns $8b spent yearly on used vehicles
The Federal Government has expressed regret that Nigerians import used vehicles worth over $8 billion yearly while local automobile companies can only boast of less than 20 per cent sales of their products.It said the ugly situation had continued to eat dip into the nation’s foreign exchange, a situation, it said, must be addressed without delay.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, represented by Director-General of the National Automobile Design and Development Council (NADDC), Aliu Jelani, stated this yesterday while declaring open the 19th Abuja International Motor Fair.
Osinbajo, who stated that government is already working hard to promote the auto industry in Nigeria so that the much-needed employment could be created for the Nigerian youths, said government was much aware that the industry is key and if properly harnessed, is capable of becoming the second highest foreign exchange earning sector for the country after oil.
“The Federal Government is presently committed to grow the automotive industry sector in Nigeria to help create jobs and earn more foreign exchange. We cannot continue to create the jobs for other countries by importing over 500,000 used vehicles into our country yearly. Unfortunately as we also import their spare-parts, we are therefore working with the Bank of Industry (BoI) and the NADDC to complete some automobile factories and centres in Lagos, Kaduna and Enugu,” he said.
He, therefore, urged the Nigerian automobile firms to also join hands with government to prepare for local production of vehicles that do not use oil and diesel.
In his opening remarks, Managing Director of BKGs Motors and Chairman, Organising Committee of the Auto Fair, Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, said time has come for Nigerians to begin patronage of locally-produced vehicles for a massive industrialisation of the country.
Also, the Vice President has said that 30 per cent of the Nigeria’s income is being spent on infrastructure to develop some major projects.He stated this while inaugurating the Trader Moni Scheme in Bauchi yesterday, a project, which targets petty traders in the area of giving soft loan as capital.