The minister stated this after a meeting with the major automobile importers and representatives of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Abuja.
The minister said that both parties agreed on mutually beneficial strategies to ensure the successful implementation of the policy in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda.
“The meeting with major automobile importers in the country was very fruitful as it provided the opportunity to iron out lingering issues. It also afforded us the opportunity to understand what their concerns are. They have all endorsed the policy but what they are asking for is a level playing ground for every player in the auto sector and also to have more input in the implementation of the policy,” he said, adding that the concern expressed by the importers would not pose any problem as the Federal Government is ready to carry them along.
“This is not a problem at all because the next step we usually take with all the policies that we have is to have an industry group to monitor and work with us in the implementation stage. So, we have set up a committee to work with us in the implementation of the policy,” he said.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Coscharis Motors, Cosmos Maduka, described the new auto policy as one of the best things to have happened to the country, saying that major auto importers were not opposed to the policy but needed a level playing ground in addition to being carried along in the implementation of the policy.
“I believe that the new auto policy is one of the best things that have happened to our country. We are not against the policy because I believe it is for the good of our country. The objective of the policy is to create jobs and we know that is what is ultimately going to happen. Let no one make a mistake about this. Africa is rising and that rise will start from Nigeria.
“Considering the size of our country, with over 167 million, one million units of vehicles in the automobile industry is very low compared to what you can see around the world. Once the capacity is developed, the automobile industry will be the second biggest industry in Nigeria. If we are not ready to produce, it means that we have thrown away our future.
“If a chicken is afraid to come out without getting its head out of the shell, it will remain there and die. So, we support the policy totally. Our concern is for the government to provide a level playing field for every interested party,” he said.
Similarly, Olutoyin Okeowo of Metropolitan Motors said, “The whole Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) representatives in Nigeria met with the minister and have restated their commitment to support the minister on the new policy and we will continue to work with him to ensure that the new policy serves the overall best interest of Nigeria. That is the most important thing.”
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.