The federal government has said that time has come for the country to reverse its $8billion dollar vehicle imports annually by providing a legal framework for the nation’s auto policy.
The government said this would not only grow home-made vehicles in the country, but many Nigerians would be able to buy new vehicles at a very low cost.
Speaking yesterday at an automotive event in Abuja , minister of industry, trade and investment, Richard Adeniyi Adebayo, and the attorney general of the federation and minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, both agreed that the country needs to speed up the provision of fiscal incentives that would boost local production.
Adebayo, who was represented on the occasion, said the legislation would strengthen the automotive policy as well as prevent it from being changed by subsequent governments.
The automotive plan, which contains a number of policy measures needed to revitalise the industry for greater job creation, local value addition, and technology acquisition has six components.
These include standards, industrial infrastructure, local content development, skills development, investment promotion, and market development.
Adebayo further stated that it was worrisome while Nigeria keeps importing vehicles across the world, the trade deficit resulting from same had grown asymmetrically and the industry was the worse for it.
On his part, the justice minister, Abubakar Malami, said his office would speed up the provision of a legal framework for the auto sector to make it make attractive.
Malami said the only way the country can provide jobs is to boost industries and support those local and international investors coming into Nigeria and producing.
Also speaking, Senator Osita Ozinaso, said government needs to sign the auto policy bill which according to him, would settle the legal issues hindering the implementation of the auto policy and full participation of the private sector.
“Non-availability of a legal framework has resulted in inconsistencies in the implementation of the auto policy. The delay of the President to sign the auto policy bill has hindered the smooth implementation of the auto policy.”
He said if the policy was implemented, it would drastically reduce the price of cars in Nigeria such that a lot of people would be able to drive new vehicles. “The target should be to have cars at the range of N3 to N4 million,” he noted.