The Director-General of Nigerian Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, Mr. Jelani Aliyu says his agency is currently working with reliable Original Equipment and Manufacturers, (OEMs) in the country to commence production of affordable and durable made-in-Nigeria vehicles soon.
Jelani disclosed this in a chat with Vanguard at the ongoing Gulf International Technology Exhibition, GITEX 2019 holding in Dubai, UAE.
The Automobile guru revealed that the idea to bring back made-in-Nigerian vehicles is to offer average Nigerians another opportunity to drive brand new cars at a cost-effective price rather than being compelled to continue buying used scrap vehicles smuggled abroad.
In his statement, ‘‘Instead of being forced to buy used vehicles, in Investment Promotion, we are working with relevant and very credible OEMs to support and urged them to come into Nigeria where there is big market.
The Director noted that in the 70s and 80s Nigeria was producing 140,000 vehicles per year but the economy crashed when the oil price went low in 1986, which send the industries packing.
However, he revealed ‘with the implementation of the National Automotive Investment Plan, NAIP, by the current administration, some of these companies have rejuvenated back to business, he said Peugeot and Volkswagen recently signed an MOU with NAIP to come back to Nigeria. Consequently, this will translate into creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for Nigerian populace.
He said ‘‘Recently Honda did its 40 years anniversary in Nigeria and last year they introduced a brand new HRV Honda which was assembled in Ota, Ogun State. And to prove that the car is good for Nigeria it was driven from Ota to Abuja.’’
Speaking on infrastructure, Jelani explained the agency has proposed for three locations as Kaduna, Osobo, and Nnewi, where they are working with stakeholders soon to start the construction of automotive industrial parks in all the locations with all the necessary infrastructure, electricity, water and connectivity.
Meanwhile, Funding, he stated that the agency is about solving the challenge for working with a number of banks and also have gotten strong support from CBN and the federal ministry of finance which has shown interest in doing this through auto finance scheme.