The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), yesterday, said the total installed vehicle assemblage capacity in the country will reach 200,000 before the end of the year.
With new automakers, including Century Auto (Toyota), TATA, Coscharis Auto (FORD, Joylong, Dongfeng), Globe Motors (Higer, Globe), Leventis (FOTON -Daimler), Kewalram Chanrai (GM, Mitsubishi) and Tilad (Shinery), Director General of NADDC, Aminu Jalal told The Guardian in a telephone conversation that the companies would add over 100,000 vehicles yearly capacity, bringing the total installed capacity to 200,000 in a single operational shift.
According to him, the development, when complemented with allowed imports of other models by the assembly plants, will meet the nation’s requirements by the end of the year.
“Our focus has now shifted to local content development. We will intensify contacts with the Japanese, South African and Indian automotive component manufacturers with a view to opening doors for joint ventures and technical collaboration with our manufacturers.
“Since the approval of the policy in October 2013, the 14 existing assembly plants and body builders, which were on the verge of closure, had a new lease of life and obtained or renewed technical partnership agreements with global OEMs. Some of these, like VON, PAN, Innoson, Anammco and Leyland-Busan have started assembling new products in 2014.
“Sixteen other companies have signed commitments with technical partners to set up assembly operations as follows: Nissan, VW, Hyundai, Kia and Honda cars and SUV, Shacman, Sino, FAW and MAN Trucks and Ashok-Leyland and FAW buses are now assembled in Nigeria. Ford just started assembling Ford ranger pickup, with an SUV to follow later
“Nearly 500 hectares of land have been acquired in Oshogbo, Kaduna and Nnewi for automotive industry supplier parks. The process of procuring a consulting firm to facilitate investment is nearing completion,” Jalal said.
To ensure that the vehicles meet global standards, Jalal said about N5 billion has been committed by the government as the council is currently working with the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and has developed over 130 vehicle safety standards.
He added that the agency has reached almost 70 per cent completion stage in the establishment of world-class automotive test laboratories for emission, components and materials.
According to him, an electronic online solution www.narp.gov.ng to capture the 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) obtained by Nigeria Customs Service upon payment of duties will curtail smuggling and goods diversion on the imposition of the protective tariff and levy.
Jalal said the council has put in place proper monitoring plans alongside with related government agencies to ensure that the automakers meet necessary requirements of their production process.
Noting that the automotive industry remains key to government’s industrialisation plan, Jalal said the policy would help the country to save foreign exchange and improve earnings, overhaul the transportation sector, reduce unemployment and enhance skill acquisition.