Stakeholders call for speedy passage of car policy

By Lucy Ogalue

Auto industry stakeholders have called for the speedy adoption of auto policy to engender industry growth.

At the Maiden Auto CEOs Forum held in Abuja on Thursday, they also denounced the absence of an auto purchase credit scheme for Nigerians who buy vehicles on an installment payment scheme.

They argued that if such a program was made available, people could buy new vehicles and the business of local assemblers in the country would flourish.

Mr Remi Olaife, Executive Director of the Nigeria Automobile Manufacturers Association (NAMA) said lack of political will was the major constraint in the industry.

“We are not ready as a country to move. How long are we going to wait.
“The auto policy was approved under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and so far they are still trying to make it law.

“Everything said today has already been said.

If we don’t have the political will, nothing gets done. The funds are there, it is up to us to decide what we want to do.

Representing the Managing Director of BPP, the Purchasing Director, Mr. Eze Obasi, urged automakers to upgrade their status to enable them to benefit from the bureau’s policy.
“The federal government has a policy to allow smart businesses to grow.
“We recommend that agencies patronize upgraded companies that have met all requirements for tax clearance, CAC registration, PENCOM, ITF and NSITF certifications.
“However, deliberate collaboration is needed between you. You also need to collaborate with smaller companies that can provide the necessary components you need to thrive.
“If you are not registered with the office, you cannot do business with the government,” Obasi said.
Earlier, former National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) Acting Director General Lukman Mamood urged NAMA to unite with one voice.
He said they should form a formidable force that would engage government and relevant stakeholders on the way forward for the industry.
He said the aim of the policy was to establish a dynamic fiscal policy to attract and support investment.
“It aims to assemble/manufacture one million automobiles for transport, mining and agriculture, attract FDI and renew the Nigerian automobile fleet, reverse the pressure on the balance of payments and strengthen the naira.
“It also aims to establish automotive manufacturing infrastructure and increase employment in the industry, among other things,” Mamood said.
He said the requirements of industry development involved, among others, incentives and support measures, legislation, market and skills development.
Customs Import/Export Comptroller Musa Baba said the industry must be led by the private sector for effective and efficient growth.
Regarding the purchase of vehicles, he said: “We have to look at the financing of the industry, that is to say the purchase of vehicles.
“In addition, let’s identify people who have a genuine passion for advancing the goals of the forum.”
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Nord Automobiles Ltd., Oluwatobi Atayi, has denounced the unfunding of automotive business in Nigeria due to high interest rates.
He urged that the National Automobile Council (NAC) tax on the importation of vehicles into the country be channeled as planned to the auto industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the forum brought together stakeholders and industry players. (NOPE)

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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