Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on Monday in Abuja said that the Federal Government would initiate the necessary legal framework needed to grow the automotive sector.
Malami made the pledge at the unveiling of a competition on automotive design initiated by the National Automotive Design and Development Council.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the automotive design challenge is aimed at discovering talents that would promote automotive design in Nigeria.
The annual event would present relevant automotive challenges of the country and give opportunity to innovative Nigerians to express their talents in applicable design solutions.
The 2019 edition of the challenge focuses on the design of applicable mini taxi and cost effective mini tractor in Nigeria.
According to Malami, the Federal Government is committed to putting in place necessary legal framework and right policies to ensure the growth of the automotive sector.
“This will provide an enabling environment for investments in automobile sector which will earn foreign exchange for the country and create jobs for the youths,’’ the minister said.
He further described the automotive design challenge as a commendable effort in promoting innovations and solutions applicable to the nation’s challenges in mechanical, agricultural and transportation sectors.
“Federal Government will support your efforts through provision of necessary legal framework and desired support aimed at boosting public transportation, agricultural development and food production.
“The competition would translate to greater savings of foreign exchange earnings in relation to which Nigeria spends about eight billion dollars annually importing automobiles,’’ he added.
Malami urged Nigerian youths to explore the opportunity provided by the competition to showcase their creativity and their desired concepts relating to automobile designs.
“The desired legal framework and policies will be provided to your ideas,’’ he said.
The Director-General of NADDC, Jelani Aliyu, said that the competition was conceived with a view to providing a platform for the realisation of abundant human capital and creative abilities.
“Apart from giving talented Nigerians the opportunity to showcase their abilities in the automotive sector, the challenge will also open exciting possibilities for them to contribute to the actualisation of innovative transportation solutions,’’ Aliyu said.
He urged participants to submit entries of their design concepts through (https://naddcdesignchallenge.com).
“Winners in the six geo political zones will win amazing prizes and in addition, national finalists will be attached to the Council’s research and development team,’’ Aliyu said.
He added that designs must be original and must show advanced aesthetics, functionality and practicality for Nigeria use.
“The NADDC automotive design challenge jury will be evaluating entries based on design innovativeness, aesthetics and functionality,’’ Aliyu said.
Senator Osita Izunaso, the Chairman of NADDC Board, said that there was the need to review the national automotive policy with a view to addressing issues inhibiting the growth of the automotive industry.
Izunaso further expressed concern that inconsistency in automotive policies was driving away investors “because they lack confidence in the system’’.
“We want a situation that a new car manufactured in Nigeria could be sold at most four million naira.
“By 2020, we are working on Made-in-Nigeria you can pay for over 15 years at a single digit interest,’’ Izunaso said.