BY: MIKE OCHONMA
Nigeria’s federal government says it is reviewing the Nigeria’s auto policy to make it an enduring document that will incorporate the input of all industry stakeholders.
The government disclosed this on Monday at the inauguration of a world-class Toyota certified service centre in Lagos by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
President Muhammadu Buhari had failed to assent to the auto policy bill having reportedly found it not comprehensive enough to transform the nation’s automotive industry after the National Assembly passed it last year.
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Adeniyi Adebayo, the minister of industry, trade and investment, said at the launch of the new Toyota facility in the Isolo area of Lagos, “My various engagement with investors/operators in the sector has indicated the need to consider a pragmatic approach in reviving the sector.
“The ministry is currently reviewing the extant Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) and taking into consideration feedback from existing and potential investors around tariff measures and non-tariff measures.”
Specifically, the minister said the ongoing review would focus on stimulating demand for locally assembled vehicles through establishing a vehicle finance scheme, and a guaranteed off-take mechanism, by fully implementing the stipulations of Executive Order 003 on the procurement of vehicles.
He also said, it was aimed at “achieving component manufacturing for vehicle assembly and after-market by setting targets for local content utilisation in the assembly of vehicles in line with the terms agreed in the ratified African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
“Establishing a governance framework that stipulates sanctions and remedial mechanisms for investors and other beneficiaries of incentives in the automotive sector; incorporating capacity building and knowledge transfer process into investor agreements.”
According to him, the results of the review will form the basis for drafting the Automotive Industry Bill that will promote sustainability and stimulate investors’ confidence in the sector.
The minister credited President Muhammadu Buhari’s unwavering commitment to the country’s industrialization agenda as giving birth the Toyota project, adding, “Today’s event is a brilliant manifestation of the enabling business environment created by this administration and their unparalleled leadership.”
He expressed the commitment of the federal government to developing the automotive sector and supporting relevant private companies.
“The establishment of this state-of-the-art Service Centre highlights the commitment of Toyota (Nigeria) Limited to addressing the concerns of its consumers,” he noted.
Vice-President Osinbajo commended the Toyota Nigeria team for the service centre, a part of which would serve as training and capacity building for technicians.
He said the with the facility, the TNL would be part of the recently unveiled federal government’s post-NYSC annual job/empowerment scheme for 20,000 Nigerians.
According to the VP, the duty of government is to provide fertile ground and enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Michael Ade.Ojo, chairman of TNL, described the event as memorable and gave him fulfilment.
Kunle Ade-Ojo, managing director of TNL, earlier, had said apart from providing quality maintenance service, genuine spare parts and standard showroom for Toyota vehicles, the centre would serve as a teaching, research and resource place for its dealers.