Posted by News Express | 3 October 2013 | 5,593 times
If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians driving tokunbo or imported fairly used cars, it’s time to steel yourself for the possibility that you may be driving your last car. Reason: The Nigerian Government plans to ban the importation of fairly used cars and this is clearly enshrined in the Automotive Industrial Policy Development Plan adopted yesterday by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
This was announced by Minister of Information Labaran Maku, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Bala Mohammed and Trade and Investments Minister Olusegun Aganga, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of FEC meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Maku said: “The most important discussion, which took most of the council’s time was the presentation to council of a broad policy plan to develop Nigeria automotive industry.
“This plan, which is part of the ministry’s industrial revolution plan that has earlier been approved, is aimed at ensuring increase flow of investments for the development of the automotive in Nigeria.”
He said the government has identified and designated automotive clusters in Lagos/Ogun, Kaduna/Kano, and Anambra/Enugu states as the locations for the manufacturing of the new vehicle to enable them to share resources and reduce cost of investments.
The policy, according to Maku, is also expected to revive, expand and develop the petrochemical and metal/steel sectors, and facilitate the return of tyre manufacturing industry to profitability to support the sector.
On his part, Aganga, whose ministry presented the memo to the FEC, said: “A transformed automotive industry will realise its potential as a major driver of economic growth and diversification, job creation, local value addition, and technology acquisition.”
Aganga disclosed that “Council also approved that the government should direct that all vehicle purchased by the government should be from the local assembly plants unless it is specialised and National Automotive Council (NAC) has certified that it is not produced in Nigeria.
“The Council approved that the approved recommendation should be backed by appropriate legislation to give comfort to investors that there will be no abrupt change in policy.”
He said that apart from creating over 700,000 jobs over time, government through the policy “is ensuring the reduction of importation of what it can produce locally by making it unattractive to import manufactured products.”
He further disclosed that the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is working with Brazilian carmaker, Cena, to open automotive training centres, adding that two universities have agreed to start degree programmes in automechanical engineering to provide adequate local manpower for the industry.
“Banks will be encouraged to operate vehicle purchase schemes to enable Nigerians purchase cars on easy terms and the FRSC will kick off a new vehicle car registration/tracking system in the next two weeks to check the smuggling of used cars into the country,” the minister stated.
•Photo shows a tokunbo car depot.
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