By Richard Anyebe
Nigerians desirous of having homemade automobiles will soon heave a sigh of relief as plans are underway to make locally-made vehicles readily available for citizens to buy and make payments in at least five-year installments, according to the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, Mr. Jilani Aliyu.
Mr. Aliyu revealed this while speaking with newsmen at the ongoing GITEX 2019 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
He stated that his agency was collaborating with JAIZ, WEMA and Zenith banks with a view to providing single-digit financing for made-in-Nigeria vehicles.
According to him, in about three months’ time, Nigerians will be able to put down 10% and drive off made-in-Nigerian vehicles and pay over five years.
He said: “Instead of continuing to be importing fully-built vehicles from overseas, we are working towards promoting and sustaining the production of vehicles in the country.
“This effort will give us brand new vehicles that would be fuel-efficient, very modern and it will create tens of thousands of jobs.
“It will help grow the economy and it will also stop us from being a dumping ground for old and dilapidated vehicles.
“We feel that with this scheme in place, Nigerians can now buy and drive new vehicles. Nigerians deserve more than that,” the NADDC boss stressed.
On the prices of these vehicles, the DG said the vehicles are cost-effective, affordable and in tune with the environment.
“Of course, the objective of manufacturing these vehicles locally is to be cost-effective, affordable and very in tune with the environment and elegance. So we are looking at the price much, much lower than what we have today, probably between three and five million Naira,” he disclosed.
On his efforts towards making Nigeria one of the vehicle-manufacturing countries to reckoned with, Mr Aliyu said: “We as a government body, we encourage the private sector to produce vehicles in Nigeria through the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan, NAIDP.
“NAIDP is a program that has five cardinal elements to help promote local production of vehicles.
“Those elements are investment promotion, which is to work with the private sector and encourage and support them in bringing money into Nigeria to set up their factories.
“Then we also have infrastructure plan to provide the necessary infrastructure for the industry to set up and be sustained.
“We also deal with standards to make sure that the components that go into the vehicles meet minimum global standards.
“Then we also have training where every year we train thousands of Nigerians on mechatronics so that they understand the new automotive technology and be capable of fixing and maintaining these vehicles professionally.
“We as well deal with market development. First, we promote the production and then work with stakeholders, end-users and the companies to help people to be able to buy these vehicles,” Mr Aliyu noted.