By Danmaryam Zayamu
Stakeholders have converged in Abuja to review the Nigeria Automotive Policy and the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development (NAID) Plan.
The session also took a critical look at the draft Automotive Bill in order to make inputs to facilitate its passage into law.
This is in an effort to transform the Nigeria Automotive industry and also attract investment in the sector.
While declaring the session open, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adebayo Adeniyi, applauded the different stake holders involved in the process of pushing the Auto Draft Bill beyond the National Assembly prior to its rejection by the presidency.
This, according to him, depicts the commitment of the key stakeholders towards improving the activities of the automotive sector and also indicated a strong reassurance of the government’s industrialization drive in accordance with the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan.
The Minister noted that: “In many countries across the world including African countries of South Africa and Morocco, the automotive industry plays a strategic role in economic development in respect of employment creation, GDP contribution and micro, small and medium enterprises development.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria, in its effort to implement the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), accordingly approved a new plan called the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan to transform the Nigerian Automotive Industry and attract investment into the sector.”
While calling on the stakeholders to come up with ideas that will move the sector forward, the Minister said: “The Nigerian market and the growing population of the middle class has proven to be the focal attraction for investors with enormous opportunities inherent within the automotive sector.
“It has become imperative for key government stakeholders to have a round table session on articulating key issues and the way forward so as to give the legal framework which will drive investment into the sector and create employment.”
Speaking, the Chairman, Board of Directors, National Automotive Design and Development Agency, Mr Osita Izunaso, revealed that the meeting was aimed at bringing together all actors in the Nigerian automotive industry to discuss and review the draft Auto Bill and the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan in order to move the sector to the next level.
The Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan NAIDP 2014-2024, he said, was designed to ensure growth and sustained development of the auto industry in Nigeria.
On his part, the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Agency in Nigeria, Mr Jelani Aliyu, said that the Auto Bill, if signed in to law, would create jobs, enhance investment and improve the nation’s GDP.
According to him: “We are here to review the automotive policy; the current policy has been used for years and it predates this administration; it has an inbuilt mechanism for review, so this is a perfect opportunity for all of us to contribute towards that review so that the policy comes out even more effective.
“As it goes back as an executive bill, what we hope to achieve today is to get very important input from all the stakeholders here, which will allow us to make this policy more effective as we send it back to the National assembly as an Executive Bill”.