The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has said that Nigeria spent more than $6 billion in importation of cars.
Speaking at the launch of the National Repository Portal (NARP), Aganga maintained that the automobile industry was a great tool for economic and national development.
He also said that the industry would create jobs for unemployed Nigerians. “Today Nigeria spends more than $6 billion importing car into the country. If we continue with this trend we will put pressure on the foreign reserve of the country which today we cannot afford to pay due to fall in oil price.
“The automobile industry is a great tool for industrial development in any nation, particularly in a developing country like Nigeria.
“It is a big employer of labour with extensive forward and backward linkages in the economy.
“Auto industry is a massive part of the economy. It has a high correlation between the economic growth, and development of the country. That is why all the large economic in the world particularly with a large population develop this sector because the balance of payment is safe.
“The automotive policy was launched as part of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP). The NIRP aims to increase the contribution to our GDP by the manufacturing sector from 6.8 per cent in 2014 to above 13 per cent by 2017.
“The main objective of the automotive policy is to bring back automotive assemble and develop local content.
“This will enable us create employment, acquire technology for our industrialization and reduce pressure on the country’s balance of payment position resulting from escalating vehicle import bill.
Commenting on the launch of NARP, the Minister said, “NARP portal is designed to integrate with all stakeholders to provide Nigerians with a truly national automotive database that will serve as a reference to automobile investors, maritime workers and internal revenue board.”
According to him, a functional industrial database on all vehicles in Nigeria is critical to the success of the plan and in achieving industrial growth and development.
He stressed that NARP would help check the diversion of Nigeria-bound imported vehicles to the ports of neighbouring countries adding that “all vehicles entering Nigeria will not be registered if their VIN is not in the repository.”
“With the continued support of government, the implementation of the automotive policy is assured, leading the way to our industrialization.
“I am accordingly very pleased to inaugurate the National Automobile repository portal,” he said.
Director General of National Automobile Council (NAC), Engr. Aminu Jalal said the policy would help government maintain an up-to-date to database of vehicles.
“It supports data exchange among government agency system to keep an updated database information of VIN.
Managing Director of WestBlue Consulting, Valentina Mintah, whose company designed the portal said it would help the general public cross check particulars and history of vehicles and help determine compliance with appropriate duty obligations before buying.
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.