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Auto Industry Crucial To Nigeria’s Economic Recovery –FG

The Minister of Industry, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite has identified the automotive industry as a potential driver of Nigeria’s economic recovery, as it will offer numerous benefits, including job creation, technology transfer, and the development of ancillary industries.

Uzoka-Anite stated this at the Nigeria Auto Industry Summit organised by the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) in collaboration with National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), held at Radisson Hotel, Lagos, during the week.

The minister, who was represented by a Deputy Director in the Ministry of Industry Development Office, Mrs. Olumuyiwa Ajayi, said, “The automotive industry is labour-intensive and has the potential to create thousands of jobs across the value chain from manufacturing and assembly to sales, maintenance, and logistics,” adding that, “By fostering a robust automotive sector, we can significantly reduce unemployment rates and provide sustainable livelihoods for our citizens.

She said the automotive sector is a driver of technological innovation. “Through partnerships with global automotive giants and the establishment of local research and development centers, we can facilitate the transfer of cutting-edge technologies to Nigeria. This will not only enhance our manufacturing capabilities but also promote innovation in other sectors.

“The development of the automotive industry will spur the growth of other related industries such as steel, rubber, plastics, and electronics. This industrialization will diversify our economic base, reducing our dependence on oil and making our economy more resilient to global market fluctuations.

“I want to assure you that the government is committed to creating an enabling environment for the automotive sector to thrive. We have introduced several policies and initiatives aimed at supporting this industry, which are: the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP): This plan provides incentives for local manufacturing, including tax breaks, import duty reductions on essential machinery, and investment-friendly regulations. It aims to attract both local and foreign investments in vehicle assembly and production.

“We are investing in critical infrastructure such as roads, ports, and power supply to support the logistics and operational needs of the automotive industry. Improved infrastructure will reduce production costs and enhance the competitiveness of locally manufactured vehicles.

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“We are fostering collaborations between the government and private sector stakeholders to drive the development of the automotive industry. These partnerships will leverage the strengths of both sectors to achieve common goals.

According to her, “We acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead. Issues such as inadequate access to finance, limited local content in vehicle production, and the need for policy consistency must be addressed. The government is committed to working with industry stakeholders to overcome these challenges and create a conducive environment for growth.

“The automotive sector holds the key to reviving Nigeria’s economy and positioning our nation as a hub for automotive manufacturing in Africa.

“With the right policies, investments, and collaborative efforts, we can transform this sector into a significant driver of economic growth and development.”

A similar train of thought was expressed by the Lagos State Commissioner  for Transportation, Mr. Oluwaseun Osiyemi, who declared the Summit open on behalf of the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The theme of this event, “Developing Nigeria’s Economy through the Auto Industry,” is both timely and significant.

He said, “As we gather here, we are reminded of the critical role the auto industry plays in not only driving economic growth but also in fostering innovation, creating jobs, and enhancing the overall quality of life for our citizens.

Lagos State, as a hub of economic activities and a key player in Nigeria’s development, recognizes the immense potential within the auto industry.

“The Lagos State Government is committed to creating an enabling environment that supports industry stakeholders, fosters collaboration, and encourages investment.

“We believe that through strategic partnerships and innovative initiatives, the auto industry can significantly contribute to the revival and growth of our nation’s economy.

“Today’s summit serves as a crucial platform for dialogue, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas. It is an opportunity for all of us—government officials, industry leaders, and experts from across Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa—to come together and explore avenues for mutual growth and development. By leveraging our collective expertise and resources, we can identify and harness the opportunities that lie ahead.”

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He urged all participants to “engage actively, share your insights, and contribute to the discussions that will shape the future of our auto industry.

“Together, we can build a resilient, competitive, and sustainable auto sector that will drive our economy forward.”

He lauded the Nigeria Auto Journalist Association for organizing the summit and for their dedication to the advancement of the auto industry. “Let us seize this opportunity to forge lasting partnerships and create a roadmap for a prosperous future.”

The Comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Wale Adeniyi said the proliferation of used cars in Nigeria was further weakening the naira and straining the local manufacturers in the country.

“The Nigerian car market is dominated by used vehicles imported all across the world. These vehicles are often cheaper and more affordable than their brand-new counterparts, and sometimes the locally assembled vehicles.

“These abundant and affordable used vehicles dampen demand for new locally assembled cars, and hinder growth in the domestic industry,” said Adeniyi, represented by Kenny Daniyan, Area Controller of PTML Customs command.

He said the Nigeria Customs Service currently enforces an import prohibition on vehicles older than 15 years as contained in schedule three of the common external Tariff, from entering Nigerian car markets as a way to reducing the import of used cars.

“This is tailored at further supporting and encouraging growth in the Nigerian Automotive Industry.”

Executive Director, Nigeria Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA), Mr Remi Olaofe, Urged the government to revive tyre, battery, and glass manufacturing as a precursor to reviving local manufacture of key components.

Source: Thisday

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