Over 50% of the vehicles that would be plying Nigerian roads in the next 10 years would be electric vehicles produced or assembled in Nigeria, National Automotive Design and Development Council has said.
NADDC Director General, Jelani Aliyu, who disclosed this on Thursday in Kaduna, said the Council is partnering Jaiz Bank to pioneer a programme where Nigerians can buy brand new electric or gas vehicles on loan and pay over period of five years from 2022, while talks with Zenith and Wema banks are ongoing.
The NADDC DG said that the automobile companies producing and assembling vehicles in Nigeria, including Dangote, PAN, Honda, Elizade, Innoson and Lanre Shittu among others have invested over N500 billion in the industry as at 2019. He noted that the auto companies combined can produce 400,000 vehicles per year with a workforce of over 50,000 Nigerians.
According to Aliyu Jelani, “in the 70s and 80s, Nigeria had Peugeot, Volkswagen, Anamco, Styre, Leyland, things were looking up and the automotive industry was booming, with a lot of potentials. We had brand new vehicles and we knew nothing like imported used vehicles; everyone who could, bought a new car.
“Peugeot alone had 40% local contents; parts were coming from here in Kaduna, in Lagos, Nnewi and Jos, we were producing over 140,000 vehicles per year here in Nigeria and people were buying them up. Then, in 1986, something very bad happened. Because we were so dependent on crude oil, the price of crude oil dropped from $27 to below $10 and that threw Nigeria into recession.
“Nigerians could no longer afford brand new cars. So, the Peugeot, the Volkswagen had to close down and a lot of those producing vehicles, not because the companies left, but because the market had dried up.
“So, the National Automative Design and Development Council got the approval of the Federal Executive Council to implement the National Automative Industry Development Plan, which has five key elements including; helping to promote local production, development of infrastructure, development of standard and market development.
“As result, we are working on 10 years tax holiday for any company that comes up to produce vehicles in the country. Also there is only 10 per cent import duty on vehicle parts imported into the country for assembly here. And when vehicles are assembled here, they attract zero duty and zero levy. Due to these policies, a lot of companies have connected to the Nigerian automobile industry. “
He said as part of the national gas expansion programme, the local automotive companies apart from converting regular petrol and diesel vehicles to natural gas vehicles, are now producing brand new gas powered vehicles in Nigeria with global standards.
Jelani said electric vehicle is really better for Nigerian environment where the culture of maintenance is low, as the vehicles do not have engines that require fuel, engine oil, plugs, rings and piston, which need regular repairs.