Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said on Tuesday that Nigerians spend about $ 8 billion (2.45 trillion Naira at the official exchange rate of N306.55 to $ 1) a year on the importation of vehicles into the country.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, revealed this information at the 19th Abuja Auto Show.
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 a car center in Nigeria.
According to him, the MoU is a major step in the development of a robust automotive industry and will contribute to the economic development of the country.
He said the government believed in the strategic role of the automotive industry in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.
Osinbajo said 3,200 youth had been empowered through the N-Power Graduate Skills Program, adding that the program would be expanded and made better to benefit more youths.
The vice president said that the Nnewi Automotive Parts industrial park had its master plan and would soon be operational, adding that the government would work with automakers and stakeholders to ensure that used cars are phased out of the country.
The Managing Director, JAC Motors, Demola Ade-Ojo, said the increase in imports of used cars would affect the production of new vehicles in the country and advised the government and industry players to work together to guarantee that new cars being assembling locally were affordable.
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