By Christiana Ekpa
The Senate yesterday moved to revolutionalise the Nigerian Automotive Industry as it passed a Bill on Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan.
This followed the clause by clause consideration of the Bill by the lawmakers during plenary.
Presenting the report, Chairman Senate Committee on Industries, Sen. Sam Egwu noted that the Bill was passed by the 7th National Assembly but was not assented by the President.
He said the Bill when enacted into law would revolutionalise the Nigerian Automotive Industries and attract foreign direct investment in auto businesses and allied sectors.
“It will also revolutionalise the moribund Tyre Industry. Nigeria once had a strong local tyre production base but the exit of the Michelin and Dunlop (in 2006 and 2009 respectively) to Angola.
“Their exit left a void in the market that has resulted in the importation of large volumes of tyres to satisfy growing local demand”
Egwu further said that the objectives of the Bill included developing a sustainable and competitive automotive industry in Nigeria.
“It also seeks to create an environment to allow existing assembly plants to survive and attract other Original Equipment Manufacturers among others”
Reacting to the Bill, Sen. Ben Bruce (PDP-Bayelsa) said for the Bill to make sense, there must be an automobile policy, electric cars and the future of automobile industry.
“For Nigeria to leap frog and start making electric cars it is better for us because they have fewer parts”
In his remarks, President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki said the Bill when passed, would go a long way in restoring the automotive and trye industry.
“These companies have left the country. I hope with this incentive, we start going back. This is another way of creating jobs for the teaming youths who are unemployed” Saraki said.
He commended his colleagues for focusing on economic Bills that would provide jobs for Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the report of the Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters and Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes was recommitted to the committee.
The president of the senate said: “pursuant to Order 86(2) the Bill will be recommitted to the committee for further legislative scrutiny in line with issues raised to ensure that the Bill complies with the Constitution and other areas of conflict.”