By Etuka Sunday
The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) said it is committed to make Nigeria the hub for automotive development on the African continent and would not be distracted from that objective.
This is in line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the NADDC, distractions will not derail it from that vision, as the council is focused on recording more achievements under its current director general, Mr. Jelani Aliyu (MFR).
To address issues regarding the activities of the agency, NADDC said under the leadership of Jelani Aliyu (MFR),that the council has attracted over one billion dollars investments into the auto sector in Nigeria, has introduced a 5 billion naira vehicle finance scheme for Nigerians and more than 15,000 made in Nigeria vehicles sold in 2019 alone.
Nigeria, it can be recalled, used to spend over eight billion dollars annually for the importation of used vehicles into the country.
However, current capacity for local vehicle production, according to NADDC stands at well over half a million annually, while manufacturers including Honda, Peugeot, Innoson, Mitsubishi amongst others have created thousands of jobs for Nigerians within the period,
The council reiterated that only 10 percent of vehicle value will be put down when buying a new vehicle under the scheme that NADDC has put in place, while the over 8 billion dollars spent by Nigerians annually to import used vehicles has been considerably reduced.
Already nearing completion, NADDC pointed is the Vehicle Materials Testing Centre in Kaduna State, which would ensure standard materials go into the production of locally manufactured vehicles and automotive components.
It would be one of the three automotive test centers that the NADDC is currently building and nearing completion in the country: Zaria (Materials Testing), Lagos, (Emissions Testing), Enugu, (Components Testing).
On his part, Director of Finance and Accounts, Dr David Oyetunji, said since his appointment as director has surpassed expectations, working with the director general to implement the mandate of the council.
He cited the initiation and implementation of quality policies, astute strategies and bringing in world class approaches that has made Nigeria become and remain the center for automotive development in Africa.
Oyetunji said apart from the exhibition of great resourcefulness in bringing original equipment manufacturers to Nigeria, that NADDC has introduced and executed policies and action leading to increased job creation, reduction of road accidents due to fake parts and reduction in environmental pollution due to the creation and sustenance of the emission control centers across Nigeria.
He affirmed that the council is working on, and sustaining the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan (NAIDP), alongside and other laws relating to automotive industry in Nigeria.
Oyetunji said the council has also been engaging with global experts in the renewable energy sector for the support needed for the production of electric vehicles in Nigeria, including partnering with the China New Energy International Alliance, in strategic efforts towards the adoption, support and Placing of Nigeria on the global automotive map.
“The director general and his team are working hard towards making the country remain a fertile ground for investment in the automotive industry”, Oyetunji added.