The Senate on Thursday passed the Bill on Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan, as part of efforts to transform the automotive industry. This followed the clause by clause consideration of the bill by the lawmakers during plenary in Abuja. Presenting the report, Chairman, Senate Committee on Industries, Sen. Sam Egwu, recalled that the bill was passed by the 7thNational Assembly but was not signed into law by the President.
Egwu said the bill, when passed into law, would transform the automotive industry and attract foreign direct investment in auto businesses and allied sectors. “It will also revolutionalise the moribund tyre industry. “Nigeria once had a strong local tyre production base but for the exit of the Michelin and Dunlop in 2006 and 2009 respectively to Angola. “Their exit left a void in the market that has resulted in the importation of large volumes of tyres to satisfy growing local demand,” he said. Egwu said the objectives of the bill include developing a sustainable and competitive automotive industry in Nigeria. “It also seeks to create an environment to allow existing assembly plants to survive and attract other original equipment manufacturers among others,” he said. Reacting to the bill, Sen. Ben Bruce (PDP-Bayelsa), said for the bill to make sense, there must be an automobile policy.
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said the bill when passed, would go a long way in restoring the glory of automotive and tyre industries. “These companies have left the country. I hope with this incentive, we will start going back. “This is another way of creating jobs for teaming youths who are unemployed,” Saraki said. He commended his colleagues for focusing on economic bills that would provide jobs for Nigerians.