The Nigerian assembly line of India’s car manufacturer, Tata Motors, has rolled out 200 vehicles assembled in the country. But as it unveiled the new vehicles, the company seized the opportunity to call on Nigeria’s central government to stop the importation of used vehicles into the country as a way of encouraging and sustaining the business of local vehicle assembly.
Suraj Prakash, the auto head, TATA Motors Ltd., said at the unveiling ceremony in Lagos, that the company would continue to ensure adherence to the local content policy to ensure it produces cost effective cars in Nigeria.
“Tata Motors has a strong presence in Nigeria with investment of over $10 million. We started assembly in 2016 in Nigeria which was well received by Nigerians as our vehicles are not expensive because most of the materials are sourced locally, so the cars are cost effective,” he said, adding that, “Our vehicles are well assembled and cost effective and are better. Our vehicles are durable, up to standard and made for the Nigerian terrain and we will like to have more of government’s support on automobile policy because importation of ‘Tokunbo’ vehicles [used cars] is of great disadvantage.”
Waheed Adetoro, director , industrial infrastructure, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), said government would continue to give adequate support to local car manufacturers in the country through patronages as directed by the Bureau of Public Procurement.
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“Government will continue to give support and protect locally manufactured cars in Nigeria. In the past, what we had was policy somersault, but now government has put up a bill passed by National Assembly. The bill, the Automotive Development Plan Policy, has been passed by the National Assembly [and] waiting for the president’s assent. Once it is signed, the core operators in Nigeria will be protected as the country is appreciative of those who have faith in Nigeria because manufacturing is key to the economy of Nigeria and we need to transform the sector from import dependent to full scale manufacturing with realisation of technology transfer to indigenous experts in the industry,” Adetoro assured.