The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) has advocate ban of importation of used cars above 20 years into the country.
The Director-General of NADDC, Joseph Osanipin, said this at a Public Sector Engagement on the Implementation of the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP 2023- 2033) held in Abuja on Tuesday.
Osabipin said the agency would work with relevant agencies to put an age limit of 20 years on importation of used vehicles.
He said this move would encourage the assembling and manufacturing of locally produced vehicles and prevent the country from being used as a dumping ground.
“Again, we need to talk to our colleagues, especially in customs, to start putting age limits on used cars. We cannot allow Nigeria to be a dumping ground for used vehicles.
“A situation in which 2000 to 2007 used vehicles are brought into Nigeria is unacceptable. So we will collaborate with relevant authorities to this effect.
“And, apart from that, we will have to specify the minimum standard that has to be in a vehicle for it to come to Nigeria,” Osanipin said.
According to the director general some vehicles coming into Nigeria that do not have airbags, and we still allow them into the country, this has to stop.
Osanipin underscored the significance of the stakeholders’ engagement in developing and implementing the Federal Government’s automotive policy.
The NADDC boss said the agency was designed to address key sector challenges such as low production levels, insufficient local content and limited finance.
”We are going to start what we call deletion policy which is contained in the NAIDP being reviewed today because that is the only way we can grow our local content.
“That’s the only way we can develop our parts. We are working to identify the components part we can produce in Nigeria.
“We are looking at the production of tyres, plastic, foams, leather, and even batteries.
“The sooner we identify these and component manufacturers that can do this according to our standard, the better for us.”
The director-general, who emphasised the importance of standards in production, said if the parts produced are of the standard, they would be recommended to assemblers and existing markets.
He further said that producing these local components would enable the council and relevant agencies to delete the importation of all items produced locally in the country.
Osanipin said:” if we can start this, gradually we will grow our local content and start employing Nigerians, more investment will get to the sector, and then we will be able to achieve NAIDP’s mandate.
“So, we need everyone to work together. We believe if we all work together, the kind of investment this sector can generate is mind-boggling.
“We need to develop our local content to conserve foreign exchange, and by the time we conserve it, we will be able to increase the value of the naira.”
Meanwhile, Mr Bawo Omagbitse, Chairman of the Nigerian Automotive Manufacturing Association (NAMA), urged that the industry’s market should be expanded, pledging NAMA’s commitment to NAIDP implementation.
Also, Pat Iruke, representing the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Aisha Rimi, said there was no economy without investment, and policy was critical for investment to thrive.
She urged the Federal Government to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country as it was a sure way to boost investments.
On his part, the Minister of Transportation, Saidu Alkali, represented by Musa Ibrahim, his Director, Road Transport and Mass Transit. Said there could not be growth without productivity.
He urged the NADDC to collaborate with relevant agencies, such as the Ministry of Steel, to ensure local production of machines.
He reiterated that this would help grow our industries and boost foreign exchange in the country.
The event was attended by representatives of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), Bank of Industry(BOI) and Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
Representatives of KPMG, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Nigeria Ports Authority(NPA), and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) were also in attendance.
All the stakeholders commended the efforts of the NADDC towards sanitising Nigeria’s automotive industry while pledging their financial, advisory, and other support.