The Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Aminu Jalal, says the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is committed to the continuity of the Nigerian auto policy. This is contained in a statement issued by the Principal Executive Officer (Information) of the council, Mr Bello Rasheed, in Abuja yesterday.
According to the statement, Jalal said that this when a group of Chinese investors from the world’s largest manufacturer of high capacity buses, Zhengzhou Yutong Buses Company Ltd. visited him in Abuja. The statement said that the Yutong team visited to seek clarifications and make necessary business enquiries, especially in respect to government’s position on the continuity of the auto policy.
It said that the visitors, led by Michael Huang, asked questions concerning tariff protection, applicable incentives, products patronage, quality assurance and standards, among others. This, according to the statement, is preparatory to the company’s proposed setting up of vehicle assembly operations for the building of high capacity buses in Nigeria.
It quoted Jalal as saying that the president had repeatedly emphasised the Federal Government’s determination to diversify the economy through promotion, support and protection of the industrial sector. He told his visitors that the automotive sub-sector with sufficient capacity for mass employment was one of the major areas where the country had great potential.
Jalal stated that the Federal Government was committed to the patronage of Made-in-Nigeria automobiles. To this end, he said that all federal ministries, departments and agencies were mandated to source their vehicle procurements from local assembly plants.
Jalal said that the exception was where the specification of the required vehicle was not among the range of models being produced by the various brand names in the country.
He said that the council was also talking to state governments to appreciate the benefits of buying from local producers.
According to him, it takes time to explain the different instruments of the automotive policy, including the vehicle import tariff plan aimed at discouraging importation, among others.
“Now that we have succeeded to a large extent in bringing back assembly operations into Nigeria, we are now focusing attention on local contents development and quality control.