Drop Auto Policy, Industry Expert Advises FG

Drop Auto Policy, Industry Expert Advises FG

Sunday, July 28, 2019 9:32 am

Dr Oscar Odiboh

By Daniels Ekugo

An automotive communication consultant, Dr Oscar Odiboh has advised the federal government to drop the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) Bill because the policy is not working.

Dr Odiboh also observed that about N2.5 Trillion may be wasted due to the rejection of the government to assent to the Auto Policy.

The federal government had in October 2013, announced the concept of NAIDP, in order to stimulate investment in local vehicle production and thereby bolster Nigeria’s economy instead of revenues heading abroad

But Dr Odiboh who lamented a situation whereby two successive governments reject their own Auto Policy Bill insisted that the the federal government should drop the policy completely.

Pointing out that those who have started should be encouraged, Odiboh said government cannot force assembly plants into a reality, saying that they do not need to push a policy before it gets traction.

While speaking yesterday on the topic: “Zero Patronage, Zero Tariff and the Redefinition of Patriotism by Nigeria’s Automobile Industry” at the 2019 Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) Training Workshop held in Lagos, Dr Odiboh also noted that the inability of the government to assent to the bill has proven anti-policy agitators right and also put a question mark on the consistency of our patriotism.

The automotive consultant who is also a lecturer at the Convenant University, Ota in Ogun State said “Even stakeholders are not comfortable with the policy and there have been too much ado in doing nothing. Nothing is working”

The University Don also warned that the government should allow auto assembly plants to evolve. “Let the industry move on. Revolution is not by force. It starts with evolution. We must evolve to revolve. Let our auto industry evolve, then it can revolve”.

According to Odiboh, the the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) should restrict itself to design, development of infrastructure and campaigns on patriotic patronage of Made-In-Nigeria vehicles.

Advising the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the university don advised that “Customs should increase tariff on used imported vehicles from 30% to 80%. Reduce tariff on brand new imported vehicles from 70% to 30%. Introduce zero percent tariff on locally CKD assembled vehicles”.

He said that the implications of the 2019 budget which may not ensure Nigerians buy new cars, is that the operating auto assembly plants will witness increase in the 58% drop in sales of 2018.

“Another implications of the budget to the assembly plants is that, it will add to 23,000 job losses of the past 5 years”, Odiboh said.

Revealing the reality observed in 40 sampled auto assembly plants in Nigeria, according to their research, Dr Odiboh said “5 years cumulative installed capacity is 450,00 vehicles but we have 5 years cumulative output of 15,000 vehicles”.

“Average cumulative annual capacity is 90,000 vehicles but we have an average cumulative annual output of 375 vehicles. Average annual capacity per assembly plant is 2,330 vehicles but we have average annual output per assembly plant of 10 units”, he said.

Dr Odiboh therefore, concluded that it is really difficult to determine how many assembly plants that Nigeria has, as “many are licensed; few are working; some are fatally wounded and others are dead on arrival”.

The NAJA training workshop is an annual training programme organised to refresh the minds of practicing auto journalists on the trend of auto journalism worldwide. Members of the association are motoring journalists that cut across the newspapers, television and online media organisations including bloggers from across the country.

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