Nigerian Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has tasked Nigeria Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA) on the need to produce affordable made in Nigeria vehicles for Nigerians.
The VP in a virtual meeting alongside some federal ministers interacted with NAMA recently.
At the meeting last week, the VP said the central plank of the government’s automotive policy was to protect the interest of all Nigerians, noting that maintaining high tariffs on automobiles will not necessarily lead to growth in the industry.
According to the Vice President, “Government has the responsibility for ensuring the welfare of the people, everybody and every industry. And the Auto industry is important. I understand all the issues about how the auto industry contributes to macroeconomic growth, jobs and others.”
Prof. Osinbajo noted that the way forward was for “the auto industry to challenge itself and whatever support it requires from government to be able to say, where is the Nigerian car that will be affordable to all and affordable to most people.
“You got to find a way of developing a local industry that will benefit the people. If that is not working then it may mean that it is not just an auto policy issue. I know there are many constraints to manufacturing, but we can make things work.
Explaining further, the Vice President said “I want us to take all these into account and see that we must work jointly, it is not just about protecting an industry, it is about protecting the economy, and protecting everybody.
“There are countries of the world that have the same parameters as we have and are able to do much more for their people. I think we should think along those terms, and not simply think about how this industry will maintain this relatively high tariff and for how long will this high tariff be maintained. Is this the only way of sustaining the industry? I don’t think so. You don’t need 77% percent tariff to ensure an industry grows, I don’t think so.”
Present at the meeting were the Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Zainab Ahmed; Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Otunba Niyi Adebayo and other top government officials alongside representatives of the automotive industry.