Workers, under the aegis of Automobile, Boatyards, Transport, Equipment and Allied Senior Staff Association (AUTOBATE), have condemned the planned reversal of the Federal Government’s automotive policy.
The workers, in a statement on Tuesday, expressed fear of job losses as a result of the expected decline in industrialisation in the event of any delay or reversal of the policy.
According to the General Secretary of the association, Sola Olorunfemi, 14 out of 25 registered automakers have started utilising the business opportunities presented by the policy since its inception in 2013.
He pointed out that the challenges of infrastructure in motor assembling were not enough reasons to reverse it.
He said, “This is worrisome as it means that the Federal Government is reversing a policy that will increase the indigenous industrialisation drive which has been the dream of change by Nigerians.
“We are aware that motor assembling has been having some hitches as there has been scarcity of the needed infrastructure for the sustenance of the local assembly plants, yet it’s not enough to reverse the auto policy, especially, when it is viewed from the angle of huge crisis of the labour market cum industrial redundancy in which continuous importation of vehicles over the decades has cost Nigerians.”
Olorunfemi said that the government should not succumb to the desires of “some unpatriotic Nigerians” to the detriment of the country’s development.
“The best action to take is for the government to take the bull by the horns and implement the auto policy to the fullest.
“In fact, such courage will help the FG resolve the other infrastructural and power challenges.
“AUTOBATE believes that the lowering of the import tariff will rubbish the essence of the policy altogether as most companies will prefer to import cheaply instead of assembling here,” he said.