The National Automotive Design and Development Council on Wednesday said it had so far disbursed the sum of N11bn to 36 auto companies.
The Director- General, NADDC, Mr Jelani Aliyu, gave the figure in Abuja during a meeting with the Governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Aminu Masari.The meeting was to discuss a proposal for the setting up of an integrated automobile mechanic and motor spare parts village in Katsina State.
The disbursement of the N11bn to auto firms is part of the moves to boost local production of vehicles and to support the auto policy of the Federal Government.
The automotive policy, launched in 2014, contains a number of policy measures needed to revitalise the industry for job creation, local value addition, and technology acquisition.
Aliyu told the governor that out of the N11bn loan, 20 companies had repaid their loan of N7.75bn in fullHe explained that the cumulative amount so far repaid from the loan was about N10.04bn.
He pointed out that the NADDC was constructing three automotive service hubs as part of the strategies to ensure the successful implementation of the auto policy.
The NADDC boss stated that the establishment of the mechanic village in Katsina State was in line with the automotive policy to empower Nigerians and boost local contents in the production of made in Nigeria vehicles.
Masari in his speech said the plan to establish the mechanic village in Katsina State would reduce the level of unemployment and boost the level of development in the state.
He said there was a need for the government to strictly implement the auto policy to enable the country to save the about $8bn spent annually on vehicle importation.
He said, “We all appreciate the role of transportation in the economy. In fact, it is the backbone of the economy. It has enough potential.
“The problem we have in the sector is that things are not done in an organised manner but if there is regulation, I think a lot of money will be saved
“Nigeria is the only country where you can bring in a 50-year-old car and will even be plying the roads. The slightest problem is to cause the loss of lives. Because the vehicles are tired vehicles.
“So I think if we enforce the provisions of the law, we can have a certain level of control so that the $8bn we are spending annually (on vehicle importation) would be used to develop the transport sector in Nigeria.”