Thursday, 3 October 2013

FG moves to phase out Tokunbo cars •Approves N41bn FCT contracts



THE Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a new Automotive Industrial Policy Development Plan designed to transform the Nigerian automotive industry by attracting investment into the sector while phasing out importation of used cars.
The council, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, on Wednesday,  also approved two different contracts worth about N41billion for development of engineering infrastructure in parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, joined by his Trade and Investments counterpart, Olusegun Aganga, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that the new automotive policy was to encourage local manufacture of vehicles.    
Speaking on the issue, Aganga disclosed that in 2012 about $3.4 billion (N550 billion) was spent by  Nigerians importing cars while in 2010, the sum of $4.2 billion (N670 billion) was spent, indicating that car import takes the biggest share of the country’s foreign reserves followed by other machinery.
He said the new policy, when fully effective, would ensure the creation of minimum of 700,000 jobs in the auto industry.
Aganga noted that the high points of the new policy included the establishment of three automotive  clusters in Lagos/Ogun; Kaduna/Kano; and Anambra/Enugu states to share resources and reduce  cost of investments, as well as the development and revival of the petrochemical and metal/steel sectors and the tyre manufacturing industry to support the automotive sector.
He revealed that as a way to provide adequate local manpower for the industry, the Industrial  Training Fund (ITF) is working with car-maker, Cena of Brazil, to open automotive training centres  in Nigeria while two Nigerian universities have agreed to commence degree programmes in auto  mechanical engineering.
The minister added that appropriate tariff regimes to discourage car imports and encourage local  manufacture will be put in place while government would continue taking the lead in patronage of  locally made vehicles.

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