VICE President Yemi Osinbajo has urged the National Automotive Design and Development Council to fashion out a comprehensive vehicle credit purchase scheme that would enable Nigerians afford new vehicles.
Stressing that the policy should be detailed, he said the Council bill, which had been taking time, should be made to work for those who could not afford new vehicles.
The Vice President spoke yesterday at a briefing by the Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Osinbajo, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said he was concerned about the strategy for raising funds and the pressure which the importation of used vehicles had on the foreign exchange.
He said the Council’s plan to develop the automotive industry through bring back vehicle assembly operations, under the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), was laudable and had the capacity to grow the automotive industry.
Osinbajo said there might be need for a high tariff on used vehicles, although he expressed concern about the effect it might have on Nigerians who could not afford new cars and on transportation in general.
He also expressed concern about the spate of smuggling of used vehicles, which had impacted negatively on the economy.
The Vice President enjoined the Council to work with other agencies, such as the Nigeria Customs and a soft-ware that could check the menace.
He told the Council to put up a strong case for the credit purchase policy, the timing of the policy and the cushion effect it might have on those who could not afford new vehicles, while promising to take up the case with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Aminu Jalal, said the objective of the policy “is to ensure the revival, development and growth of the Nigerian automotive industry, using local human and material resources”.