Why FG Condemned Vehicles Assembled By Innoson, Others

The Federal Government has said that the vehicles assembled by local and indigenous auto companies are not what the government wants.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo made the disclosure while briefing on the status of some of the signed African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), it’s impact on the economy of the Nation and other key investment updates regarding the Buhari-led Administration.

Nigeria has nine auto manufacturers, according to the National Automotive Design and Development Council

They are Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, Nissan Motors, Honda Motors, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Hyundai Motor Company, Ford Motor Company, GIC Motor Companies Ltd, JAC Motors and Kia Motors.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigerians spent N1.08trn to import used cars and motorcycles between October 2018 and September 2019.

Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria’s Vice President had said at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) conference in 2020 that local production has not grown as desired, adding that their limited growth has led to high prices of automobiles.

Adebayo said that the companies have underperformed as expected by the Nigerian government.

He said, “As at today, vehicles are assembled in Nigeria, but they are not what we want because what we are assembling today does not give us a couple of value chain as we want.

“What we have done in the ministry is that we set our self a target. We held meetings with original equipment manufacturers and they said yes they want to set up businesses in Nigeria, however, they need protection for whatever investment they want to make.

“And based on that, we now looked into having a proper auto policy. What we have done is we now approached the Afrexim Bank who have partnered with us and they are funding. We have employed some of these international consulting firms, we have employed them. They are going to be paid by some of the grants we have received from Afrexim Bank.

“They are coming with the auto policy, it is being funded by Afrexim Bank and once that auto policy is ready we will take it to Federal Executive Council. Once FEC approves it, we will take it to the National Assembly and pass into law.

“Once it is passed into law, the original equipment manufacturers- the auto makers will now know that there is a law that protects their investments at that point they will now come and invest in Nigeria.”

The minister also disclosed ongoing plans to revive Tinapa, a business and leisure resort located North of Calabar municipality, Cross River State.

Located in the Tinapa Free Zone and Resort, the project which was built under the Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, cost N55.88bn.

But the Minister said, “There has been an interest shown in Tinapa by a tech company. I know an approach has been made to the governor of Cross River State, with a view to seeing that they want to take it over and turn it into a tech hub. Talks are ongoing on in that direction.”

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