Few weeks after the federal government unveiled the National Automotive Policy to encourage local production of vehicles in the country, Vice-President Namadi Sambo Wednesday called for more investments in the automotive industry.
Sambo said the federal government was ready to offer all the needed incentives to ensure that more automobile assembly plants are established in the country.
Sambo, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Mr. John Obinna Chukwu, made the call while declaring open the 15th edition of the Abuja International Motor Show organised by BKG Exhibitions Limited at the Eagle Square in Abuja, declaring that there was no going back on the new automotive policy despite the challenges.
The vice-president noted that the transport sector was one of the key drivers President Goodluck Jonathan was considering to jumpstart the nation’s economy, pointing out that Nigeria is the future of global automobile because of its population strength and the volume sale of vehicles.
“Nigeria is home to assorted brands of cars and buses and their accessories. Auto garages and showrooms dot strategic locations on the landscape. Spare parts and other accessories shops are a common sight on our streets and roads.
“That is why the federal government has been investing heavily in the transport sector, and recently we came out with a blueprint on how to develop the Nigerian automobile industry, happily most of the manufacturers are supporting the policy,” Sambo said.
He also called on others who are yet to buy into the idea to support and start preparing to open assembly plants in Nigeria, saying: “We have done it in the telecommunication sector, we are doing in the power sector and the automotive sector is on the line now.”
The vice-president assured the organisers of the motor show of the federal government’s support for the sustenance of the programme as he urged other stakeholders to rise up to the challenge of co-partnership with the Jonathan's administration “in building the Nigeria of our dream.”
The Director-General, National Automotive Council (NAC), Alhaji Aminu Jalal, in his remark, said the government hoped to see that in five years time, most of the cars on parade at the organisers’ 20th Abuja international motor fair would be produced in the country, adding that the new auto policy was a clarion call that would have positive impact not only to the country’s automobile industry but the transport sector in general.