The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said in Abuja that Nigerians spent about $8 billion ( ₦2.9 Trillion), annually, on importation of vehicles.
Mr Osinbajo, who was represented by the Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, disclosed this at the 19th Abuja Motor Fair.
“The government is fully committed to industrialisation and the mining sector to enable it create direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians
“About $8 billion goes to overseas for importation of vehicles while Nigerians are suffering, also most of the used vehicles imported are unsafe and not good for the citizens,’’ he said.
Mr Osinbajo said government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Volkswagen group to develop an automotive hub in Nigeria.
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He added that the MoU was a major step toward the development of a robust automotive industry, to contribute to the continuous economic development of the country.
He assured that the government believed in the strategic and catalytic role of the automotive industry in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
According to him, 3,200 youths have been empowered through the N-Power Graduate Skills Acquisition Programme, adding that the programme will be expanded and made better to benefit more Nigerian youths.
He said N-power was a federal government initiative on job creation and empowerment initiative of the Social Investment Programme.
Mr Osinbajo said the Nnewi automotive parts industrial park had got its master plan and would soon be functional.
He said government would work with motor manufacturers and stakeholders to ensure that used cars were faced out of the country.
Also at the event, Mr. Demola Ade-Ojo, Managing Director, JAC Motors said increased importation of used cars would affect the production of new vehicles in the country.
He advised government and the stakeholders to work together to ensure that new cars being assembling in the country were affordable.