The Federal Government has commissioned $1 billion (N364 billion) locally-assembled vehicles through collaboration with the National Automotive Design and Development Council(NADDC).
The disclosure was made by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo.
According to Adebayo, the vehicles, which were produced by 17 firms, include pioneers of made-in-Nigeria vehicles such as Coscharis, Nissan, Innoson, Ford and Elizade Motors.
Adebayo made known that the locally-assembled vehicles would be used at the Argungu Motor Rally which is an integral part of the popular festival held in Kebbi annually, the Argungu Annual International Fishing and Cultural Festival. This Argungu Motor Rally is slated to be kicked off by the President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
While revealing the plan of the NADDC to turn the rally into an annual event for the auto industry, the minister acknowledged the growth of the auto industry. He said Nigeria was moving forward in the area of automotive assembly, adding that from zero production level in 2012, the industry had recorded tens of thousands of newly assembled vehicles.
According to him, with the inauguration of the 10-year Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP 2013-2023) in 2013, about 62 companies have been registered to assemble vehicles.
“The vehicles and brands for unveiling are a testament to the zeal and commitment of the automotive industrial subsector to the present government’s efforts towards diversification of the non-oil sector of the economy. The role of the NADDC in reviving and sustaining the automotive sector has greatly helped in stimulating growth and development in the Nigerian automotive industry.’’
Also commenting on the commissioning was Minister of State for Industry, Trade and investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, who charged the auto companies to do more in the area of local content and have faith in the Federal Government’s commitment to economic diversification.