NIGERIA – Nigeria’s automotive sector has attracted investments worth US$1bn since the commencement of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan in 2013.

This was confirmed by the Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, who was speaking in Abuja at the unveiling of vehicles assembled in Nigeria.

Mr. Aliyu also revealed that investment in the automotive sector had resulted in the creation of over 50,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo said since launching the plan, 62 companies had been registered to assemble vehicles at both the Semi-Knocked Down and Completely Knocked Down levels.

Adebayo further revealed that the 62 companies had a combined total installed capacity of 423,790 units and actual assemblage of 10,342 units achieved in about six years.

Jalani however noted that Nigerians still had a penchant for imported automobiles adding that the country was spends US$8bn annually on importation of vehicles.

To address this, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment revealed that the government had plans to encourage the patronage of locally assembled vehicles through effective implementation of the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan.

He said the NADDC was currently discussing with Jaiz Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc on a N5bn revolving vehicle financing scheme.

This scheme, he said, would enable interested Nigerians to take loans to purchase new locally assembled cars.

Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo noted that with Nigeria’s signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the objective of government was to make Nigeria the automotive hub in Africa.