The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah has disclosed that the Federal Government has no intention of reversing the national auto policy started by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2013. 

The Minister who made this known at a one-day stakeholders’ forum on the Nigerian Automobile Industry recently in Lagos said that the government would rather improve on what it met on the ground by taking the contributions of the stakeholders in the auto sector. “We are not reversing the auto policy. We will build on what has been done and we want stakeholders to tell us what they want us to do to enable the policy work,”he said. According to the Minister, the present government is a listening one and will come up with responses on the issues to be addressed by the stakeholders. The one day stakeholders’ forum put together by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group was attended by Enelamah, the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Dr. Aminu Jalal, chieftain of Nigeria auto industry and other stakeholders who gathered to address the grey areas militating against the implementation of the national auto policy. Addressing the press after the conference, the minister stated that the essence of the gathering was to listen to the stakeholders and know what they want from the policy, adding that the whole idea was to get feedback from the stakeholders on how to make the policy succeed. According to the minister, government is working round the clock to bring incentives to make the policy succeed, including tax breaks, partnering with technical partners from South Africa for auto financing, among others. He remarked that the Federal Government is poised to deal with the implementation challenges of the auto policy so as to make it work and create jobs for the masses. In his welcome remark, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Group, Laoye Jaiyeola noted the importance of the Nigerian auto industry to the development of the country. He remarked that the choice of the automotive industry as one of those being targeted to diversity the economy is predicated on the potential of the industry to play a strategic and catalytic role in economic development in the areas of employment creation, GDP contribution, SME development in respect of automotive parts, components and services, skills development and the acquisition of technology. He regretted that, though the size of automobile market in Nigeria is over 4 billion dollars annually, this does not translate into anything meaningful for us because it is a market that is currently characterised by importation. Jaiyeola therefore, noted that the high level stakeholders’ forum therefore, forms part of an on-going review of the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan NAIDP with the main objective of eliminating existing limitations in its implementation process. The minister also pointed out that apart from interrogating strategic direction option available for repositioning Nigeria’s automotive industry, the forum seeks to revalidate the NAIDP, agree modalities for harnessing the potentials of existing auto-clusters as well as for the creation of other clusters, address issues of standards, skill acquisition and investment promotion of Nigeria’s automotive industry; all within an acceptable framework that take cognisance of the fact that Nigeria is signatory to several trade agreement both regionally and globally.

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Posted By: Theodore Opara in Motoring news Page of Vanguard Newspaper of June 28, 2016





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