Federal Government (FG) has disclosed on Wednesday that it recorded over $1 billion investment into the automotive industry in 2019.
This was disclosed by Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu at the opening of a two-day investigative hearing into the financial budgetary approvals and multilateral donation on skills acquisition and related programs of the FG and its agencies by House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on the matter. The committee is chaired by Hon. Victor Akinjo.
The committee had alleged that reports submitted to it indicated that contracts worth multi-billion naira awarded by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the training/skill acquisition programmes were implemented without Appropriation between 2011 and 2020.
To this end, the Committee invited the Bank of Industry, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), North East Development Commission, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TetFund), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Bank of Agriculture, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Presidential Amnesty Programme (Amnesty Office), Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Local Content Development Board, NIRSAL Plc and NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and National Automotive Design and Development Council for questioning.
Others invited also included Federal Capital Territory Administration, National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Industrial Training Fund, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Federal Ministries of Labour and Employment, Works, Foreign Affairs, Education, Youths & Sports, Agriculture and Rural Development, Science and Technology, Finance, Budget & National Planning, among others.
The Committee is demanding documentary evidence of payment to the federation account as well as a copy of the Appropriation Acts for the fiscal years being investigated.
Testifying before the committee, Aliyu said it was the responsibility of his agency to stimulate growth in the sector.
He said “We have the core responsibility of developing the automotive sector, that’s to encourage and promote the assembling and production of the vehicle in Nigeria as opposed to continued importation of them from overseas and exporting jobs and revenues outside of Nigeria. It is our responsibility to keep all those funds here in Nigeria and promote our own.
“The first one is investment promotion to encourage investment into Nigeria and I’m pleased to say that as of 2019, we managed to bring about 1billion dollars into the country by companies such as Honda, Innoson, Dangote cement trucks and so on.
“These companies have a storage capacity of 400,000 vehicles, to all things being equal they’ve invested in Nigeria. We’re also playing our role in being part of the future by joining the rest of the world in their advances such as electric vehicles.
“It’s one thing to produce vehicles and another thing for people to buy them. That’s why we are at an advanced stage of discussion with Wema, Jaiz, Zenith banks to provide single-digit auto financing for made in Nigeria vehicles. As soon as we get the necessary approval, Nigerians will be able to put down 10 per cent, drive off with a new car made in Nigeria and pay over five years, rather than being forced to pay everything 100 per cent