Chamber Of Shipping Says Auto Policy, Not Well Thought-out 

Some fairly used damaged vehicles at Tin Can first gate on Wednesday

Some fairly used damaged vehicles at Tin Can first gate on Wednesday

The Director General of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Barrister Obiageli Obi, has questioned the rationale behind the government’s automobile policy, even as she expressed doubt that the vehicles assembled by Innosson might be enough for Nigerians.

In an interview with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos on last week, Obiageli said that most of the cars commonly used in Nigeria like Kia and Peugeot, were not produced in the country. 

“Does Nigeria produce vehicles, are they producing vehicles or just assembly plants. I think they only assembly. Most of these vehicles like the Peugeot, Nissan and all that are not produced here in Nigeria. The standard vehicle Nigerians use for work now is Kia because it is cheap or a Toyota and the both of them are not made in Nigeria. I don’t understand that decision by the government of made in Nigeria car that we did not see. I don’t know if it is because of that truck that Innoson produces that the government feels will be enough to service the whole country”, she said.

Meanwhile, Nigeria appears to be on the track towards becoming vehicles manufacturing country again as local production has increased to 45,000 units per year, up 80 per cent from 25,000.

Based on this growth, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), has projected that the Nigerian auto industry is expected to produce about four million cars annually by 2050.

Also, with this development, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman, Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Limited, IVM, said: “After sometime, Nigeria will manufacture cars for the whole of Africa”

Recall that in the 1980s, about 120,000 brand new vehicles were being assembled in the country by six assembling plants made up of two car plants and four commercial vehicles plants.

The industry collapsed when government embraced World Trade Organisation’s free trade policy and opened up the country’s borders to imports, including second hand vehicles.

Investigations have revealed that up until 2015, Nigeria imported about 400,000 vehicles (100,000 new and 300,000 used) valued at $4.2 billion.

Local production capacity is about 300,000, but utilization is currently at about 15 percent of installed capacity. This translates to 45,000 units of vehicles per annum.