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Coscharis Motors, others declare support for new automotive policy

By The Citizen

The group of automobile importers has declared support for the new automotive policy and has vowed to back the successful implementation of the plan.

This follows a stakeholders meeting of the group with the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, on Tuesday, in Abuja.

The Chairman, Coscharis Motors Limited, Mr. Cosmos Maduka, said the new auto policy was one of the best things that had happened in the country in recent times.

He said major auto importers were not opposed to the policy but needed a level playing ground in addition to being carried along in the implementation of the policy.

He said, 'Considering the size of our country, with over 167 million people, one million units of vehicles in the automobile industry are very low compared to what you can see around the world. Once the capacity is developed, the automobile industry will be the second biggest industry in Nigeria. If we are not ready to produce, it means that we have thrown away our future.

'Our concern is for the government to provide a level playing field for every interested party', he added.

Mr. Olutoyin Okeowo of the Metropolitan Motors said the whole Original Equipment Manufacturers' representatives in the country had restated their commitment to support the minister on the new policy.

A statement by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment also confirmed that the parties had agreed on mutually beneficial strategies to ensure the successful implementation of the policy in line with President Goodluck Jonathan's Transformation Agenda.

Aganga said the meeting provided an opportunity to solve some lingering issues, adding that it afforded the concerned parties the opportunity to understand what their concerns were.

'They have all endorsed the policy but what they are asking for is a level playing ground for every player in the auto sector and also to have more input in the implementation of the policy.

'This is not a problem at all because the next step we usually take with all the policies that we have is to have an industry group to monitor and work with us in the implementation stage. So, we have set up a committee to work with us in the implementation of the policy.'

The Federal Government had on October 3, 2013, announced the introduction of the new auto policy to discourage the importation of cars and encourage local manufacturing of vehicles, which would also gradually phase out used cars, popularly known as 'tokunbo'.