Local vehicle manufacturing to begin soon —Industry Minister

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Doris Uzoka-Anite has said plans are underway to position Nigeria as a major player in the vehicle manufacturing industry.

The minister stated this on Friday while launching the Nigeria Automotive Industry Development Plan, noting that the automotive industry development plan was drawn to position Nigeria as a fully-fledged vehicle manufacturer within the next 10 years.

“Nigeria has the capacity to produce its own vehicles. We have the raw materials; we have the skills; we have a market, and now we have a plan that can help us produce our vehicles. These vehicles include motorcycles, tricycles, sedans, heavy-duty trucks.

“With this plan, we should see Nigeria fully producing its own vehicles within 10 years. Our goal is to reduce the cost of purchasing a vehicle for the average Nigerian,” she said.

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Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Joseph Osanipin stated that the proposed policy was to help actualize the plan was a five-year tax holiday for assemblers of vehicles in Nigeria.

“Through such fiscal initiatives, there is a deliberate focus on backward integration and component production,” he added.

Members of the Automotive Industry Development Plan implementation committee were drawn from the Ministries of Finance, Transport and Environment as well as Industry, Trade and Investment.

It also comprises the Nigeria Customs Service, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria.

Last year, Nigeria’s vehicle assembling industry, estimated to be worth around N302bn, tanked to a new low due to increasing production costs and weakened demand for locally assembled automobiles.

Data released by the Manufacturers CEOs Confidence Index, indicated that activities of motor vehicles and miscellaneous assembly deteriorated further below the benchmark from 48.6 to 46.7 points.

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