The Federal Government has suspended issuance of licence to new vehicle assembly plants.
Aminu Jalal, the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Friday, said that the action was to enable the council to consolidate the country’s vehicle assembly operations and concentrate in developing local content.
He explained that the suspension did not apply to investment in original equipment manufacturing (OEM), adding that applicants for OEM license would not be affected.
Jalal said: “The major objective of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan is to bring back completely knocked down (CKD) automotive assembly and develop local content.
“NADDC is investing over N5 billion to establish automotive test centres that will ensure that the vehicles and components meet international safety and environmental standards.
“The response to the policy so far has exceeded our expectations. The current status of implementation of the policy is that 14 existing assembly plants started assembling new products (cars, SUV, buses, pick-up trucks) in 2014.”
The DG listed some of the 14 plants as Volkswagen of Nigeria (VON), Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, ANAMMCO, Leyland-Busan, NTM and Steyr.
According to him, Nissan, VW, Hyundai, Kia, Honda cars and SUV, Shacman and MAN Trucks, and Ashok-Leyland buses are now assembled in Nigeria.
“Eleven new companies, including Century Auto (Toyota), TATA, Coscharis Auto (FORD, Joylong, Dongfeng) and Dana Motors (Renault) have been given bona-fide manufacturing status and are on track to start assembly operations this year.
“Our emphasis has now shifted to the development of automotive local content. Sites for automotive supplier parks in excess of 400 square hectares have been acquired across Nigeria and effort is ongoing to acquire more.”
Jalal said the council was evaluating tenders by global consulting firms with experience in the establishment of industrial parks.