‘Nigerians can own a car with government support, finance scheme’

A proper vehicle finance scheme with government support for the establishment of more assembly plants in the country will avail the average Nigerian the opportunity to own a car, an automobile expert, Oluwatobi Ajayi, has said.

Ajayi said setting up an assembly plant involves huge capital investment, and with the government’s assistance would solve Nigeria’s vehicular and mobility needs for both the low and middle-income earners, including corporate organisations, to buy and use brand new vehicles.

The Director-General, National Automotive Design, and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, had earlier said a total of nine auto manufacturing companies are currently assembling vehicles in Nigeria.

The development came about two years after the Council’s confirmation of its approval of 45 companies that signified interest in building vehicle assembly plants in Nigeria, following the Federal Government’s introduction of an auto policy to discourage importation of fully-built vehicles.

However, he said the Automotive Industry Development Bill, which was passed by the eighth National Assembly, was still awaiting the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Stakeholders believe that the bill if signed into law would transform the automotive industry, and attract the needed foreign direct investment into auto businesses and allied sectors. They also harped on the need to address Nigeria’s harsh business environment and infrastructure challenges.

Ajayi, who doubles as the Chairman and Chief Executive of Nord Automobiles Limited, also canvassed the government’s support for the industry to revolutionise the automotive sector.

Addressing journalists on the debut of the Nord Assembly Plant on social media recently, he described the firm as a brand that takes the need of the Nigerian environment into consideration during the assembly of vehicles.

He disclosed that the journey to the realisation of the plant, followed several inspection visits, series of discussions, and subsequent approvals from the relevant supervising Federal Government’s ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

These include the federal ministry of trade and investment, the NADDC, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

He listed the models that will be rolling out of the new assembly plant to include the Nord Tank Pick-up, Max Pick-up, Flit bus, Aso truck, Lasgi big bus, A3 sedan, A5 SUV, Yarn family/business shuttle, Tripper bus, Bolt bus, Ben SUV, Urban sedan among many others that are in the pipeline. The mission of the company he disclosed is to “grow together efficiently” with the economy and people of Nigeria.

All the vehicles being offered he assured are durable and elegant, and yet competitively priced. They have a low total cost of ownership compared to the competition. That is why we are confident that the Nord vehicles would soon be a household name in Nigeria.

The company’s operations focus on delivering quality expertise in the value chain of the entire auto assemblage which includes the design, sourcing, development, assembling, distribution, marketing, provision of sales, and after-sales service of their unique Nigerian branded automobiles.

In terms of foreign partnerships, Nord Company is collaborating with some of the biggest automotive firms in Europe and Asia, which offers the company an edge in its pursuit to deliver durable, safe, reliable, and affordable vehicles for Nigerians and give buyers of the brand good value for money.

With a mission to roll out a wholly Nigerian model of cars, for Nigerians and assembled by Nigerians, the plant is located on a 2,100 square meters of land space in Sangotedo in Lagos, while and another one recently acquired and occupying 3,400 square meters of land at Epe is currently undergoing construction for the assembly complex in readiness to meet the growing automotive market and increasing customer demand.

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