President Goodluck Jonathan has stated that his Administration is fully committed to rapidly developing Nigeria’s automobile industry through the diligent implementation of the country’s new national automotive policy.
According to a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President(Media & Publicity) Reuben Abati, President Jonathan stated this at a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motors, Mr. Carlos Ghosn and representatives of Nissan’s partners in Nigeria on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, January 23.
He said that a key objective of the new policy was to make new cars affordable to more Nigerians noting that the only way to reduce the preponderance of second hand cars on our roads is to produce good quality cars with affordable pricing locally.
Welcoming the Nissan group’s investment in vehicle production in Nigeria, President Jonathan noted that all investors in local automobile production in the country will have a huge ready market for their products.
“The automobile industry in Nigeria has a huge potential for growth. The market is not just Nigeria, but the entire West African region,” the President observed.
Mr. Ghosn applauded the Federal Government’s new automotive policy, saying that it would encourage the inflow of investments and technical expertise to boost domestic vehicle production.
The Nissan CEO informed President Jonathan that Nissan Motors plans to roll-out the first made in Nigeria 4 X 4 Utility SUV in April this year using the old Volkswagen Assembly plant owned by its partners.
Mr. Ghosn who said that it was possible to produce two to three million cars in Nigeria annually with the consequent creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, told the President that Nissan intends to increase its investment in Nigeria and establish its own vehicle production plants in the country.
He reiterated his company’s interested in producing popular cars, totally adapted to the needs of Nigerians, adding that the company also plans to bring its global suppliers to make vehicle components in the country.
President Jonathan also met with President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania who assured him of his personal participation in the World Economic Forum on Africa scheduled to take place in Abuja in May this year.
He later received the Mayor of Atlanta in the United States of America, Mr. Kasim Reed and Mr. Claude Dauphin, the President of Trafigura, a leading international commodities trading and logistics company.