Abuja -The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) has attributed the delay in the commencement of its Vehicle Purchase Scheme on the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease in 2014.
The Director-General of the Council, Mr Aminu Jalal, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
He said the 2015 general elections also contributed to the delay.
NAN, however, reports that the disease was successfully tackled by the Federal Government.
According to Jalal, the outbreak of the disease and the general elections disrupted discussions between NADDC and officials of the partnering bank, Wesbank of South Africa.
“We are working with a South African company, Wesbank, which is an expert in that (vehicle purchase financing); that is their job.
“Last year, two things happened: they couldn’t come because of the outbreak of Ebola. We lost six months because of Ebola.
“They were to come here to sign the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) last year but they couldn’t come.
“But towards October when we got fed up, we had to go to South Africa to sign the MoU instead of them to come here because of Ebola.
“Then the following year elections came. So, we lost a total of over six months to the Ebola outbreak and the elections.
“They have to come here to lay all the groundwork and put the necessary mechanism in place, they have done that now, so we are awaiting the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) licence.”
He explained that many of the local vehicle manufacturing companies had already started their own vehicle purchase scheme at 18 per cent interest rate.
Jalal said that many commercial banks also had their scheme, but at an interest rate of 22 per cent, “which is too high for average income earners’’.
He expressed the hope that the council’s scheme would take off by the end of the year after the conclusion of arrangement with Wesbank.
NAN reports that the vehicle support scheme of NADDC is an instrument of the new automotive policy designed to facilitate the purchase of locally made vehicles by Nigerians. (NAN)