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Nigeria Unveils 10-Year Plan to Build Own Vehicles, Revitalise Auto Industry

Nigeria seeks to transform its auto industry through strategic infrastructure development and local manufacturing support, reveals Trade Minister Doris Anite.

Nigeria is set to revitalise its auto industry, with plans to fully build its own vehicles within the next decade, according to the minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS over the weekend, she said the plan outlined aims to address longstanding challenges and harness the untapped potential of the Nigerian market.

“We can actually build these products in Nigeria, the market is there and so, we can pick it up. The plan actually outlines the steps that we will take that within 10 years, Nigeria can fully build its own vehicles. We have identified all the challenges and we are set to roll it out.

“One of the key challenges is availability of infrastructure. So, we are going to build an industrial park where we put all the company manufacturers in a place where we provide them with facilities for electricity, water and even availability of the raw materials that they need, transport and logistics. So, that takes away most of the burden.”

She said the Nigerian auto industry experienced significant growth in the 1960s and 1970s, fueled by government support, but privatization efforts in the 1980s led to a decline in the sector.

“In the 60s and 70s, the Nigerian Auto industry saw a major boom and that was actually due to the support of the government. If you recall, the government actually owned about 70% in the six auto assembly plans that you already highlighted but in 1986, due to the structural adjustment program, Nigeria had to privatize most of its assets and that was when the decline in the auto industry started.

“We realize that government is a continuity and in 2014, the auto industry plan was launched and since then, due to some challenges, it’s not really taken off and the second plan was launched again in 2023 under the las administration, my predecessor launched that and we came in, picked it up and I realized that it was actually a good plan and what was then left was to implement it and that was the implementation committee that was launched on Wednesday.”

Uzoka-Anite further added that auto industry holds immense potential for Nigeria, with the capacity to contribute up to 25% of the country’s GDP

“Currently, the GDP contribution of the auto industry to Nigeria is 0.04 percent and the potential of this industry is 25% of GDP. Currently it employs about ten thousand workers in this industry with the potential of hiring up to 300,000. It has so much to give. In 2021, we spent 6.1 billion dollars importing used cars. Between 2018 and 2019, we had spent 1 trillion naira to import used vehicles and hat is approximately 2.6 billion dollars. Given the current situation we have in Nigeria, we know it is not sustainable. Most of our imports, 97% like I said earlier, are used.”

Chioma Kalu

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