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Stakeholders advocate strategic alliances in automotive policy to benefit economy

Stakeholders in
the maritime industry on Tuesday called for alliances that would benefit the
local economy with regards to the national automotive policy.

They made the
call at a town hall meeting convened by the National Automotive Council (NAC)
in association with Ships and Ports Communication Company in Lagos.
The meeting was
to enable the NAC give clarifications to a number of issues that had raised
concerns among operators in the maritime industry who deal in importation of vehicles.
Speaking, Chief
Kunle Folarin, the Chairman, Nigerian Ports Consultative Council, said that for
critical success of the automotive policy, it should focus on local content to
encourage industrialisation in Nigeria.
Folarin said that
it was important that the policy should consider programmes and projects to
sustain it in order to grow the percentage contribution from industry to the
“With respect to
the automotive policy, we must have sustainable growth component.
“The policy must
take care of the possibilities, specifically to know what will happen if the
rail system becomes effective,” he said.
Mr Fred Akokhia,
the Vice-President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight
Forwarders (NAGAFF) said the totality of the benefit of local content to
Nigerians must be considered if the policy was to work.
Akokhia said it
was also necessary to consider development in the areas of the policy where
Nigeria has comparative advantage.
“We must
determine if we are producing for local consumption only or for export.
“It is also
important to consider the areas where we have comparative advantage like asking
why we have to import tyres when we can manufacture tyres,” the NAGAFF
vice-president said.
Controller-General of Customs (CGC), Dikko Abdullahi, said the automotive
policy was geared towards industrialising the nation’s economy.
Abdullahi said
the consuming power of the nation was one of the attractions that government
considered in developing the policy, adding that Nigeria could consume a
reasonable percentage of the vehicles produced.
Represented by an
Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, Banke Adeyemo, who is in charge of
tariff and trade, the CGC said the nation was tackling the challenge of border
He added that the
Nigeria Customs had established structures to combat smuggling.
disclosed that from June 1, every shipper importing vehicles must present
documents to show the engine and chassis numbers, to enable the customs service
properly ascertain their duty.
Also speaking, Mr
Eporwei Edike, Controller-in-charge of Apapa Area 1 Command, called for support
for the automotive policy.
He said it was
important that Nigeria built her own automobile industry as a way of
encouraging local manufacturing, creating jobs and working towards
He, however,
warned that “there must be transparency for the aims and purpose of the policy
to be actualised.”
Earlier, Mr Aminu
Jalal, the Director-General of the National Automotive Council, made a presentation
of the policy and how it had been designed to work.
Jalal, who was
represented by Mr Kolapo Odetoro, an engineer in the Council, clarified that
the Council had collected N18 billion, which was kept with the Bank of
He said the
Council had established a mechatronics institute in Esa-Oke in Osun, to
encourage the training of manpower to service the sector when the project comes
on stream fully.
He also disclosed
that a number of lady mechanics had been trained through the Lady Mechanic
Initiative in different locations of the country.
He said that “the
Nigerian market as it is can support an indigenous automotive industry”.

He said that
affordable vehicle programme, vehicle purchase scheme and patronage by
government and its agencies would be ensured to sustain the policy.

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