More than N500 billion private sector investment has gone into Nigeria’s automotive industry in the last few years to underscore its rebound and the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari, said Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu,
According to him, a lot of the investment has gone into revamping the once moribund local auto industry and encouraging growth of new areas like electric vehicles (EVs).
“We have encouraged, supported, and enabled the private sector to come and put in over half a trillion naira to set up factories and assembly plants across the country,” said Aliyu to the media in Sokoto, at the weekend.
Adding: “We have companies and assembly plants in Lagos, Nnewi, Kaduna and Kano. Some are beginning to come up in Bauchi, Kano and Ogun states. So, there are a number of companies actually producing and assembling vehicles in Nigeria.”
He said these companies have a combined capacity of producing up to 400,000 vehicles per year but “we are not there yet, we are not producing 400,000 vehicles per year, because of market challenges.”
The NADDC boss said the agency was working to drive further investment and get more stakeholders participation in the sector.
His words: “We are, however, doing a lot to unlock that potential and put a stop to the importation of new and used vehicles. As we speak, you can see that there are individuals and companies that believe in the current and future economy of Nigeria in a such a manner that they can invest this huge amount of money,” he explained.
The NADDC is currently working to implement an automotive policy to further woo investors into the country. The agency has already engaged KPMG to review the automotive policy to sync with the best global practice in the auto industry.
“We need a set of regulations to ensure that government gives maximum support to those who invest in this sector, because, when these companies come in, they put in hundreds of millions of dollars.
“They want to be sure that regardless of what the government is doing, their investments must be protected,” Aliyu said while expressing optimism that the policy and ongoing discussions by the NADDC with the likes of Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan will encourage the companies to directly set up their own production plants in the country.