As part of its effort to develop the local automobile industry, the Federal Government is set to launch an auto-credit scheme to stimulate the development and growth of the automobile industry.

Nigeria’s Minister for Industry, Trade, and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite, made this known at a 3-day automobile conference themed “the West Africa Automotive Show (WAAS)” held at the Landmark Centre in Lagos on Tuesday.

The Minister, who was represented by the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Joseph Osanipin, also expressed that the scheme is targeted at easing the acquisition of locally manufactured goods by Nigerians.

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She said, “There is no better time for this automotive conference than now. The time is right, as this is the time when the federal government is focusing more on the renewed hope agenda.

In the last few months, the minister has been mentioning to us the steps the government is taking to stimulate the development and growth of the automobile industry.

In Nigeria today, we buy vehicles on a 100 per cent cash-down basis; this is not done in any other economy.

We must be able to provide a credit scheme for people who are interested in buying locally manufactured goods.

The government is also working to lift Nigeria from being an assembling nation to a manufacturing nation. So, we have to give the necessary support to Nigerians to move from being an assembling nation to a manufacturing nation.”

At the 3-day automobile conference, which begins on Tuesday, over 250 exhibitors from West African countries and beyond were in attendance.

Speaking on the importance of the conference, the exhibition manager at BtoB Events Ltd., Georgina Lloyd, said it is aimed at building better awareness and consensus on strategies to help Nigeria grow its automotive components and parts manufacturing industry.

She said, “The WAAS 2024 edition welcomes many new VIP delegates from across Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries, all looking to meet new suppliers and business partners.”

President, Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPMDA), Lagos, Hon. Ngozi Emechebe, decried the proliferation of fake auto spare parts in the market.

He said, “The issue is very important because the challenges posed by fake spare parts not only affect the industry but the economy in general and the wellbeing of the country.

Fake auto parts are counterfeit or unauthorised reproductions of parts made to look like genuine parts but often of inferior quality.

Fake parts may cost significantly less than genuine parts, but they are often unreliable and potentially dangerous. In Nigeria, the issue of fakery is not new, as there is hardly any industry or sector that is not challenged by the faking of original products.

Experts have also estimated that Nigeria loses about N100 billion annually as a result of road crashes, many of which are caused by the use of fake parts on automobiles.

At the ASPAMDA, we do not tolerate the distribution of fake parts, as our members are well-informed and enlightened to avoid dealing with fake parts.

To tell you how serious we are against the distribution of fake parts within our market, we have partnered with the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), which facilitates periodic seminars against fake parts.”

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