Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu, has said a review of the nation’s auto policy is ready and will soon be sent to the National Assembly as an executive bill for speedy passage and thereafter forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
He stated this in Abuja Wednesday at the opening of the 22nd edition of the annual Abuja auto fair.
The policy known as National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) was introduced in 2014 by the federal government to encourage local assembling of vehicles became contentious as Buhari failed to give his assent even though the lawmakers had passed the bill. It was sent back for a review.
Jelani, who also represented minister of industry, trade and investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, said all stakeholders including relevant government agencies and private sector players were allowed to make input in the latest review.
According to the NADDC boss, “This bill now at the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment will be going back to the National Assembly as an executive bill and it is expected to receive express passage and president’s assent. It is a holistic review; we’ve asked all stakeholders to make input”.
Jelani Aliyu said the auto industry remained crucial to the development of the nation’s economy, adding the agency was on course with the NAIDP to a tool to transform the industry, despite its implementation challenges.
Many automakers including Toyota and Volkswagen the director general disclosed have agreed to set up plants in Nigeria after their conviction in the merits of the auto industry plan.
He said over 30,000 Nigerian youths had been training in modern auto technology, just as he disclosed that 18 auto training centres were established across the country for this purpose.
Aliyu Jelani urged Nigerians to patronise Nigeria-assembled vehicles to increase job creation and boost auto business in Nigeria.
Chairman, organising committee of the Abuja auto fair and managing director of BKG Exhibition Limited, Ifeanyi Agwu, said the annual event has played a major role in the development of the nation’s auto sector and Abuja as a viable business centre.
He lamented the prolonged neglect of the industry by the government despite its importance to the national economic growth.
“I don’t know how the auto companies are able to stay afloat in the face of high exchange rate among other challenges.
“About 98 per cent of auto companies in Abuja today were brought into the city through the motor fair.” He said.
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