The new National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) also known as the Automotive Policy passed into law on Thursday, will boost investors confidence in the economy, the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu has said.
The NAIDP was introduced in October 2013 by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to revive the ailing Nigerian auto industry.
The objective of the automotive policy is to restore assembly and develop local content, thus creating employment, acquiring technology and reducing pressure on the countryâ€™s balance of payment.
The Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu, who broke the news in Lagos last night, said the new law would make investors in the auto industry more confident.
Aliyu, who was special guest at the launch of a new assembly plant for Fuso trucks, built by CFAO equipment said: â€œIâ€™m also glad to say that today (yesterday) the National Automotive Policy has been passed into law, it is now a bill and this would put us in the perfect position to protect local investments and local companies such as Fuso in terms of tax haven or incentives that will support their production, which will also protect them against unfair importation of competitive vehicles.â€
He said there was a little to be done to the policy, but that â€œtechnically, it is on its way to becoming a law,â€ adding that it was one of the conditions requested by foreign auto manufactures to enable them build assembly plants in the country.
â€œNot too long ago we were in South Africa and we met with a number of companies, BMW, Ford, which are already here, Toyota, Volks Wagen and all these companies expressed huge interest in coming into Nigeria and one of the things that needed to be done was to make this policy into law; we have that now. This is a great incentive to them and to other companies that want to come into Nigeria.â€
He said a new Nigeria was evolving and that the government was doing all that was necessary to encourage foreign investors, not only in the automotive sector, to come into the country.
Nigeria, Aliyu said, would also plug into the new trends in the automotive sector, which are electrification, autonomy and right sharing.
â€œWe have to begin to look at how we will produce and support electric car technology in Nigeria, in terms of being able to produce those vehicles here. A number of these companies that are interested in Nigeria also have electric vehicle programmes. We will have to work closely with them to provide those vehicles in Nigeria, to work with them to transfer that technology so that our young Nigerians will be in the best position to understand this technology and be able to service it.
The policy, he said, also has an auto finance scheme component. â€œWe are also in very strong discussion with potential investors to set up an auto finance scheme so that Nigerians, as they do around the world, will put little money down and either pay over time or lease it for some time. This is crucial in helping the capacity,â€ Aliyu added.