[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) under the aegis of Nigeria Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA) has cautioned the Federal Government not to succumb to detractors and naysayers seeking to circumvent renewed efforts to resuscitate domestic production of automobile in the country.
NAMA wants government to urgently demonstrate its conviction that support of the auto policy is good for the country by reassuring investors that government is a continuum that wouldn’t dump policies for the sake of ‘Change.’
Chairman, Nigeria Automotive Manufacturers Association, TokunboAromolaran gave this charge in Lagos at an appraisal of President MohammaduBuhari led-government contributions to the nascent automotive industry one-year after.
He said: “We are forced to believe that government is being distracted by naysayers and interested parties who wish to slowdown the progress in the sector. And these are people who have benefited from trading and are now feeding government with negative reports and holding back the pace of development of the industry.”
The National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) was inaugurated three years ago and has resultantly paved the way for foreign direct investments with more than 12 entrepreneurs injecting funds estimated at several billions of naira.
Aromolaran urged the Federal Government to determine the strategic industries going by the National Industrial Revolution Plan and work-out incentives and strategy to accelerate the successful take-off of the companies.
He said such incentives should take into account the peculiar challenges investors face in the course of operation such as inadequate infrastructure, the NAMA boss said: “a viable manufacturing industry is capable of creating huge multiplier effects for the Nigerian economy and society.”
He said previous administration may have scratched the surface by putting in place the auto policy, but the present government should take the credit for giving it a bite by introducing attractive incentives to woo major OEMs.
“This is the way to reawaken our productive capacity and create a future for the children of the poor and downtrodden,” the NAMA chairman reasoned.
He said despite unobtrusive situation in the automotive sector, NAMA is convinced the Federal Government is conscious of the multiplier effects of a vibrant auto sector on the country’s economy.
This conviction, according to him has inspired tremendous activity in the automotive sector despite very difficult operating environment; policy uncertainty, dearth of skilled manpower, poor infrastructure and scarce foreign exchange, the association boss lamented.
“I believe government is figuring out how to assume ownership of the programme started by the previous administration and ways to improve on it even though this has taken part of one year without a formal engagement of the association of automotive manufacturers.”