Local automotive industry
By Olaolu Olusina
Nigeria Automotive Council (NAC) has called on the Federal Government to direct all its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as its local and multinational contractors, including banks in which the government has interests, to source their automotive needs from local assembling plants. The council said government’s patronage was key to reviving the local automotive industry.
This, according to NAC, “is in line with government policy and the new patronage circular no. SGF.OP/I/S.3/VIII/250 of 12 April, 2011 (annex v),” stressing that developing economies with thriving automotive industry had taken similar steps.
Director-General, NAC, Aminu Jalal, made the call in Lagos while speaking at the annual symposium of the Automobile and Allied Products Sectoral Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI),which had as theme, ‘Charting a Roadmap for the Revitalisation of the Automobile Industry in Nigeria’.
Represented at the seminar by the Director, Policy and Planning, Mr. Lukman Mamudu, Jalal , who quoted from data obtained from the Nigerian Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA) as well as import statistics from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said: “The annual installed capacity in assembling/manufacturing is 150,000 units valued at about N550 billion while a total of 80,000 new and 200,000 used vehicles valued at over N400 billion are imported annually.”
He lamented that despite Federal Government’s determination to revitalise the economy by resuscitating local industries, a whopping N400 billion was still being spent yearly on the importation of vehicles, an amount he said would have made a difference if local manufacturers were patronised.
The NAC boss stated further: “Potential value added, if imports were locally assembled, will be N145 billion with additional value incidental, if local content programmes are vigorously pursued.”
He disclosed that at full capacity, 70,000 skilled and semi-skilled staff would be directly employed along with 210,000 indirect employments.
He however lamented that total current operating capacity for local assembling plants by value was N30 billion, saying the local industry was dying due to lack of patronage.