The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo has disclosed that the new Automotive Industry Bill will help position Nigeria in its rightful position, as the manufacturing hub of Africa.
This statement was made by him today while speaking during an interview in Abuja with ChannelsTV.
According to him, the whole idea of the New Automotive Policy will be centered on creating an enabling environment for key players in the industry, as the policy seeks to gain the confidence of investors in the industry, especially the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), with the view to have them come in to set up manufacturing plants in Nigeria.
In this space, the country will be able to leverage on the buffers coming from the recently ratified African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an agreement that has a total market of 1.2 billion people, while 200 million of the 1.2billion people are here in Nigeria.
The Minister revealed that to make this happen, the government is set to put in place a policy that guarantees the investments of manufacturers and other key players in Nigeria.
In a bid to ensure that key infrastructure and materials required for production are in place, the minister revealed that the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has been engaging key stakeholders to ensure that Ajaokuta is up and running.
What they are saying
Mr. Niyi Adebayo said:
“When this government came in, we tried to work with the policies that were in place, but when we realized the policy was not working, we had to review it and come up with a new policy. We are not unmindful of the facts that key infrastructure must be in place, as this is key for us to have a successful auto industry. However, the government is doing a lot in that regard.
“The New policy is supposed to bring a multiplier effect with regards to manufacturing within the Nigerian economy, the policy will help both auto manufacturers as well as other stakeholders in the manufacturing sector as well as the Nigerian Economy at large.
“However, in a bid to ensure that this policy does not fail, the assurance we have is that we are making a comprehensive review, which means we are working with practitioners, manufacturers and all stakeholders in the industry, and whatever we come with will be passed into law with the view to ensure that it is sustainable.
“We have discussed with OEMs like Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Volkswagen that we want them to come to Nigeria and manufacture their vehicles instead of operating through agents, and they have told us what they require of us that would give them that confidence to set up operations in the country.
“We are at the point whereby that new policy would soon be in place, and once it’s in place Nigerians will definitely enjoy the benefits.”
What you should know
- According to the Minister, the auto industry as of today employs about 5,000 direct workers and 20,000 indirect workers.
- The new policy will enable OEMs to use Nigeria as an access point into the African economy, and marketplace.