The Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu MFR has said his agency has keyed into President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration on Economic Diversification Policy as the government made it a priority to diversify from the crude oil into Agricultural, Industry, Mining and Tourism sectors.

Infinity Tyres

Jelani Aliyu stated that “When you talk about the Industry, no other sector can play an important role as an Automotive Sector, that is why we are excited and proud to be one of the 17 Parastatals under Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and investment, saddled with the responsibility of developing local automotive sector by implementing National Automotive Industrial Development Plan (NAIDP) which has five key elements’’.

Jelani Aliyu made this known while addressing journalists recently in his office in Abuja.

Auto brands (Hyundai, Changan, Nissan) assembled in Nigeria by Stallion Motors, Lagos

He stated that the five key components include- Investment Promotion, Infrastructural Development, Improvement of Standard, Skills Development as well as Market Development.

He further explained that with the key areas of NAIDP is to reviving, developing and sustaining local Automotive Industry in terms of production of vehicles and its components in Nigeria.

“So when we talk about NAIDP, the important pillar is skills development, as you are aware the present administration is committed to lifting 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years and we can achieve that by creating jobs, building more Industries, getting people engaged in more productive lives.

“That is why we are building Seven (7) Training Centres in each geo-political zone of the country, so as to empower youth across the country, we are far in that projects and some of these Automotive Training Centres are already completed and are in the process of getting all the necessary equipment in place and those that haven’t been completed would be completed soon”.

Jelani further said NADDC is constructing three automotive hubs in Sokoto, Ondo and  Owerri and these centres would be equipped with all the necessary equipment and highly professional staff who will be able to diagnose any vehicles, maintain or repair it, right there.

“So with such projects, I can say that we have 10 very important projects that are contributing towards fulfilling  President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years”.

He further stressed that another key component of National Automotive Industrial Development  Policy (NAIDP) will be investment promotion into the  Automotive sector, as “the Council is working with both local and international companies and other entities to set up assembly and production plants in Nigeria, as a result of this initiative, billions of US dollars had been invested into the country, a number of Automotive plants have been set up by Automotive Companies such as  Honda, PAN Peugeot, INNOSON, Nissan, ANAMCO, Dangote Trucks are assembling vehicles in the country.

“We will continue to promote that investment, we are also talking with Volkswagen Company which whom we have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with, we are also discussing with other big international players to come into the country and produce vehicles locally” Jelani added.

He further disclosed that Infrastructure development is another key component of NAIDP.

“NADDC is working towards constructions  of three Automotive Industrial Parks in Kaduna, Ode- Omu and Nnewi, these would be centralised locations with all the necessary infrastructures such as electricity, water connectivity and other resources to make it easier for companies to come in and set up industrial facilities within these parks, so these would be a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project initiative, we are working closely with the relevant stakeholders and we believe these will be locations that will enhance and allow us to actualize local content development target and would enable us to develop more components locally.”

Fuso truck assembled in Nigeria by CFAO Motors, Lagos

Another pillar of NAIDP is the homologation of the improvement of standard, “as you are aware, the Automobile is a very complex machine with many different components that all come together to create that machine and it is imperative that Nigerians are protected,  that any spare parts that they use most meet the minimum global standard which unfortunately isn’t the case, as I speak, in our efforts to protect Nigerian Public, we have almost completed the construction of three Automotive Testing Centres in  Zaria, Lagos and  Enugu’’.

These projects would be completed before the end of this year, any spare parts that have not been tested by any one of these centres will be deemed sub-standard or illegal, all these are our efforts to make sure that the vehicles and the components are available in Nigeria and are safe and efficient”.

Another component under NAIDP is market development, as it is one thing to build a vehicle, is another thing for people to be able to buy these vehicles, in order to achieve this.

“We have set aside billions of naira  and we are working with WEMA, ZENITH and JAIZ Banks to provide Automotive financing for made in Nigeria vehicles at a single-digit interest rate  between 6 and 8 per cent so that Nigerians can put down just 10 per cent and drive off for the brand new assembled made in Nigeria vehicle and pay over a period of five years

“We believe this will help Automotive Companies to be able to produce more because they have ready buyers, and it will also help Nigerians to be in a position to be able to buy brand new vehicles instead of having to deal with old and dilapidated imported used vehicles”

In addition to these five key areas of NAIDP, the NADDC is also working with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources on a programme of converting diesel vehicles to gas.

“As you are aware, Nigeria has a huge reserve of gas which most time we have to even pay for it to be flared, we are working with Federal Ministry of Petroleum and all stakeholders to ensure we set up a production plant for kits that will be used in converting diesel Trucks into gas’’.

“We are also working with the relevant stakeholders to launch what we call ‘the NADDC Mechanics finding App.’ so that we can differentiate between Professional Mechanic and those you may have sub-standard workshops”.

“In a nutshell what NADDC does when you look at NAIDP, we are creating and developing a comprehensive ecosystem that will support the development of sustainability of manufacturing within Nigeria”.

Peugeot 508 assembled in Nigeria by PAN Nigeria, Kaduna

The Council is also is working with the National Assembly, parent Ministry and Presidency to further review the Automotive Policy by setting up some Fiscal incentives that will promote local production and discourage importation of used vehicles.

“We believe Nigerians deserve vehicles that are new, modern, safe and efficient and the only way to do that is by promoting local Manufacturers and discourage importation of what could be dangerous to the Nigerian Public, so Automotive Policy will provide 10 years tax holiday to any new Company that will produce vehicles in  Nigeria, as this will encourage local production and discourage importation of vehicles as envisaged in Executive Order 03 and 05 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari among others.