Auto industry attracts over $1 billion investments

The Nigerian auto sector has received a significant boost with over $1 billion investment from distinguished automotive manufactures last year in 2019, thus lifting capacity to at least 409,000 vehicles annually. 

The manufacturers, which include Honda, Peugeot, Innoson, and Mitsubishi among others, have also created employment for about 4,782 Nigerians.

Jelani Aliu, the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development (NADDC), disclosed this yesterday in his message to the ongoing review of the Nigerian Automotive Policy Bill, & Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), in Abuja.

He highlighted that the NADDC has put in place a N5billion vehicle finance package to assist Nigerians buy new cars, repayable at agreed terms instead of the current craze of patronising fairly-used cars, which has continued to drain the nation’s foreign reserves, and creating jobs for other countries.

He said: “Nigerians can now put down say, 10 percent of the value of cars they wants to buy and spread payments for over five years. This arrangement has been concluded with some selected banks in the country with the support by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). If we go this way, our citizens will also begin to enjoy ridding new vehicles.”

The participating banks includes Zenith, Wema and Jaiz.

Although government had banned vehicle importation through land borders, however, the Area Controller, Port Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML) Command, Nigeria Customs Service, Mrs. Florence Dixon, said the border closure has triggered increase in vehicle importation through the Lagos seaport to about 35 per cent as at third quarter 2019, without giving details.

This means that more Nigerian’s are still buying used vehicles, with the sale of brand new locally manufactured vehicles hitting only 11,000 units in 2019, up from the 10,000 recorded a year earlier.

General Manager of Stallion Motors in Nigeria, Arpita Roy Luthra, in a chat with The Guardian, said with the finance initiative 2020 sales will be much better.

She said: “I foresee an increase in sales in the new year. In fact, we are very happy with the kind of direction the government is taking. One is the closure of land borders, so that has boosted our businesses.”

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Source: The Guardian, January 2020