Stakeholders in the automobile industry have appealed for the speedy passage of the Automobile Policy to engender growth in the industry.
At the Maiden Auto CEOs Forum held in Abuja on Thursday, they also decried lack of an Auto Purchase Credit Scheme for Nigerians purchase vehicles on a staggered payment scheme.
They argued that if such scheme was made available, people would be able to buy new vehicles and the business of local assemblers in the country would thrive.
Mr Remi Olaife, Executive Director, Nigeria Automobile Manufacturers Association (NAMA) said that lack of political will was the main constraint of the industry. ”We are not ready as a country to move. How long are we going to wait.
“The Auto policy was approved during President Goodluck Jonathan administration and till date they are still trying to make it a law. All what is said today has already been said. If we do not have the political will, nothing gets done. The funds are there, it is for us to decide what we want to do”.
Representing the Director-General of BPP, the Director of Procurement, Mr Eze Obasi, urged the automobile companies to upgrade their status to enable them benefit from the bureau’s policy.
“Federal Government have a policy aimed at enabling indeginious firms to grow. We recommend agencies to patronise upgraded companies who have met all the requirements of tax clearance, CAC registration, PENCOM certifications, ITF and NSITF”
”However, there is need for a deliberate collaboration among you. You also need to collaborate with smaller firms that can provide the necessary components you need to thrive. “If you are not registered with the bureau, you cannot do business with the government,” Obasi said.
Earlier, the former Acting Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council(NADDC), Lukman Mamood, urged the NAMA to come together in one voice.
He said they should form a formidable force that would engage the government and relevant stakeholders on the way forward for the industry.
He said the objective of the policy was to establish a dynamic fiscal policy to attract and sustain investments.
”It is aimed to one million automobiles for transport, mining and agriculture, attract FDI and renew Nigerian vehicle stock and reverse pressure on balance of payment and strengthen the naira.
”It is also aimed at establishing automotive manufacturing infrastructure and increase industry employment among other things,” Mamood said.
He said the requirements for the industry’s development, however, entailed incentives and supportive measures, legislation, market and skills development among other things.
The Controller of Customs, Musa Baba, said that the industry had to be private driven for effective and efficient growth.
On purchase of vehicles, he said: ”We have to look into financing of the industry, that is the purchase of vehicles.
”Also, let us identify people who have true passion to push through the objectives of the forum”
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Nord Automobiles Ltd., Oluwatobi Atayi, decried the non financing of automobile business in Nigeria due to high interest rate. He urged that the National Automotive Council (NAC) levy on importation of vehicles to the country should be channeled as supposed to the automobile industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum was attended by stakeholders and players in the industry.