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About A$1bn (N360bn) has been invested in the automotive sector since the commencement of The National Automotive Industry Development Plan.

The Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, gave this figure on Monday in Abuja at the unveiling of vehicles assembled in Nigeria.

He also disclosed that the investment in the sector had resulted in the creation of over 50,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Jalani lamented the penchant of most Nigerians for imported automobiles, saying over $8bn was being spent annually on importation of vehicles.

He said the NADDC was currently discussing with Jaiz Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc on a N5bn revolving vehicle financing scheme.

This scheme, he said, would enable interested Nigerians to take loans to purchase new locally assembled cars.

He said the unveiling of the vehicles was a confirmation of the zeal to drive industrialisation through innovation in the auto sector.

He said with Nigeria’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the objective of government was to make Nigeria the automotive hub in Africa.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, said the government would encourage the patronage of locally assembled vehicles through effective implementation of the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan.

The minister said that since the unveiling of the NAIDP in 2013, the auto industry had recorded thousands of locally assembled vehicles.

Specifically, he said since launching the plan, 62 companies had been registered to assemble vehicles at both the Semi-Knocked Down and Completely Knocked Down levels.

He said the 62 companies had a combined total installed capacity of 423,790 units and actual assemblage of 10,342 units achieved in about six years.

The minister said 31 automotive assembling companies were currently listed under the Bureau of Public Procurement for patronage by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

Adebayo said the vehicles and brands that were being unveiled by the government was a testament to the zeal and commitment of the automotive industrial sector to government’s efforts towards diversification and development of the non-oil sector of the economy.

He commended the role played by the NADDC in attracting investors into the automotive sector in Nigeria.

He said the NADDC had given all stakeholders in the sector an equal opportunity to operate.

This, according to him, has assisted in reviving the auto industry to contribute to the growth and development of the economy particularly in the area of job creation.

The Chairman, House Committee on Industry, Dolapo Badiru, said there was a need for legislation to back up the automotive policy.

He said without effective legislation, investors would not feel secure to put in the right amount of investments.

He lamented that President Muhammadu Buhari did not sign the Automotive Industrial Development Bill, adding that the current National Assembly was ready to consider the bill again if repackaged by the executive.

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