FG moves to revive ailing auto industry, arrest exodus of manufacturing firms

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The Federal government is set to arrest the alarming rate of manufacturing companies relocating from Nigeria to the neighbouring countries.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mr Nebeolisa Anako, who disclosed this, frowned at the increasing rate of relocation of manufacturing companies from Nigeria to neighbouring countries such as Ghana, Benin Republic.

Addressing participants at a ‘stakeholders consultative forum on the automobile industry in Nigeria’, organised by the ministry in Abuja, on Wednesday, the Permanent Secretary who was represented by Mrs Elizabeth Egharevba, Director Economic Growth Deparment, cited “cost of doing business” as one of the reasons why such firms are leaving the country in droves.”

Anako pointed out that “the National, Regional and Global Value Chains are synonymous with the Automotive Industry on which countries operate based on their comparative advantages and Nigeria cannot be an exception.”

He also noted that for the country to benefit maximally from the Industry, especially in view of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) window, there is need for experts and stakeholders to deliberate, identify, and fashion out roadmap that will enable the government address the specific issues affecting the industry.

The main objective of the conultative forum, according to the Permanent Secretary, is to bring together automobile companies, Associations of the automobile Industry and regulatory MDAs to review the performance of the industry, understand the challenges they faced and how to mitigate them.

He said, “the crucial role the automobile industry in the development of Nigerian economy cannot be over emphasized. Hence, the Ministry has deemed it necessary to convene the meeting with this very important Sub-sector of the economy in order to understand the challenges and constraints facing the industry and find ways to ameliorate them.

“I’m convinced that at the end of the meeting, we will come up with concrete steps on how to enhance that collaboration of FMFBNP (Planning Arm) with the Automobile industry which is expected to translate to more job creation, and other externalities, in the country”.

Two papers – “Overview of the past and current situation of the automobile industry in Nigeria and the effect of COVID-19 on the sector”, by Prof Michael Sunday Kupolati; and “Challenges of the automobile industry and how to mitigate them”, by Dr. Chidi Agbaraji were presented at the one-day forum.

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