The Federal Government has said its reforms in the automotive industry attracted investments worth over $1bn in 2019.
The Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Mr Jelani Aliyu, made this known at the House of Representatives in Abuja on Wednesday.
The House had set up an ad hoc committee which is organising a two-day investigative hearing on the budgetary approvals and multilateral donations on skills acquisition and related programmes of the Federal Government and its agencies.
Aliyu said, “We have the core responsibility of developing the automotive sector. That is to encourage and promote the assembling and production of the vehicle in Nigeria, as opposed to continued importation of them from overseas and exporting jobs and revenues outside of Nigeria.
“It is our responsibility to keep all those funds here in Nigeria and promote our own.
“The first one is investment promotion, to encourage investment into Nigeria and I am pleased to say that as of 2019, we managed to bring about $1bn into the country by companies such as Honda, Innoson, Dangote Cement Trucks and so on.
“These companies have the storage capacity of 400,000 vehicles. They have invested in Nigeria. We are also playing our role in being part of the future by joining the rest of the world in their advances such as electric vehicles.
“It’s one thing to produce vehicles and another thing for people to buy them. That is why we are at an advanced stage of discussion with Wema, Jaiz, Zenith banks to provide single-digit auto financing for made in Nigeria vehicles.
“As soon as we get the necessary approval, Nigerians will be able to put down 10 per cent, drive off with a new car made in Nigeria and pay over five years, rather than being forced to pay everything 100 per cent.”
In his address, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, underscored the need for the implementation of policies and programmes that would help the private sector to thrive and to create jobs.