Nigerians spend N2.45tn yearly to import vehicles – Osinbajo
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday said Nigerians were spending about $8bn (N2.45tn at the official exchange rate of N306.55 to $1) on a yearly basis on the importation of vehicles into the country.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, disclosed this at the 19th Abuja Motor Fair.
He said, “The Federal Government is fully committed to industrialisation and the mining sector to enable it to create direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians. About $8bn goes to overseas countries for the importation of vehicles, while Nigerians are suffering. “Also, most of the used vehicles imported into Nigeria are unsafe and not good for our citizens.”
The Vice-President said the Federal Government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Volkswagen Group to develop an automobile hub in Nigeria.
According to him, the MoU is a major step towards the development of a robust automotive industry and will contribute to the economic development of the nation.
He stated that the government believed in the strategic role of the automotive industry in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
Osinbajo said 3,200 youths had been empowered through the N-Power Graduate Skills Acquisition Programme, adding that the scheme would be expanded and made better to benefit more youths.
The Vice-President noted that the Nnewi Automotive Parts Industrial Park had got its master plan and would soon be functional, adding that government would work with motor manufacturers and stakeholders to ensure that used cars were phased out of the country.
The Managing Director, JAC Motors, Demola Ade-Ojo, said increased importation of used cars would affect the production of new vehicles in the country and advised the government and players in the sector to work together in order to ensure that new cars being assembling locally were affordable.