The Federal Government Nigeria is discussing with the management of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) to re-enact the automotive policy to boost the industry.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, in a news conference on Monday in Abuja said that the ministry was also collaborating with relevant stakeholders on the policy.
Adebayo disclosed that the ministry would hold a stakeholders’ summit on Jan. 28, 2020, to get the views of the industry’s stakeholders and prepare the policy to be passed to the National Assembly.
The summit was part of efforts to rework the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), bill popularly known as Auto Policy, which could not scale through during the first tenure of the present administration.
The bill is central to the development of the automotive industry, which is said to be currently under-performing.
The policy when it becomes functional will enhance local investment in Assembly plant by many automotive brands, stimulate economic activities and growth in the industry.
On the Ease of Doing Business, the minister expressed satisfaction that the World Bank’s ranking for Nigeria had improved tremendously, adding that the Federal Government would not relent but continue to improve.
“We are working with the Nigerian Customs Service to see that importation of goods and processes by which they are brought into the country are faster and more effective.
“We are working strenuously with the Airport authorities to make sure that the arrival processes at the Airports are made much easier and faster.
“This whole idea is to make things easier for people who do business in Nigeria with the view to encourage them to invest more in Nigeria,” he said.
He said that the ministry would continue to encourage production of Nigerian goods through its engagement with summits and meetings organised by business community in Nigeria to boost patronage and investment.
The minister, however, assured the media of its collaboration within the availability of fund to encourage wide reportage and more sensitisation on its progammes and policies for public interest.
Also speaking, Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, noted that the Federal Government had already constituted a committee working on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
On border closure, the state minister gave assurance that as soon as compliance with ECOWAS treaty is achieved a date would be recommended for the opening of the border.
She recalled that there was a meeting at the ECOWAS Commission with Nigeria, Niger and Benin Republics, basically to address the issues concerning the joint border patrol team.
According to her, one of the things that led to the border closure was the issue of non-compliance with ECOWAS treaty, which ensured that goods that were supposed to come into the country were intact.
“The goods, which ever axis they take, whether they are coming through Niger or Benin Republics are supposed to be exported right to our own customs at the border intact without breaking the seal.
“What has been happening is the breach; you have containers arriving at our borders already the seals had been broken and repackaged into various vehicles, so you do not have the integrity of that container.
“And, not having the integrity of that container meant there was an opportunity to put in illegal items, especially for us is the issue of small arms and weapons and drugs being sneaked in.
“The issues discussed at the meeting also included source of origin of goods, whereby you have items being repackaged and they claimed they are produced within an African country,’’ she added.
According to Katagum, the strategic meeting was held with the three countries because those were our main areas of concern.
“The three countries agreed to activate that joint border patrol comprising of customs, the security agencies among others and equally follow the actual protocol led by ECOWAS.
“It is only when that committee is certain that all the countries are respecting the ECOWAS protocol that the committee will recommend a date for opening of the border,’’ the minister said.
Appreciating the support of the media, the minister assured newsmen that the ministry would always engage with them for effective reportage of its activities in 2020.