By Olanrewaju Akojede
Lagos – Dr Jumoke Oduwole, Special Adviser to the President on the Ease of Doing Business, has given reasons for the delay in the signing of the much-awaited National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) bill.
Oduwole, who also doubles as the Secretary, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos, said the auto policy was critical to Nigeria’s economy.
Oduwole, the keynote speaker at the launch of the “Autoprenuer Programme” by Nigeria’s leading automotive trading platform, Cars45, said that the government was doing all within its power to set the economy on the right path.
On the Auto Policy, he said that the president knew the importance of the policy to the manufacturing sector in Nigeria hence, there was a need for wider consultations to make it all-encompassing.
NAN reports that the President Buhari had declined assent the NAIDP bill after four years of legislative process.
The bill provides for a 10-year tax incentive for the Auto industry and other incentives to attract investment in the sector.
Oduwole, however, argued that the bill should be in tandem with the realities of the comparative economic values.
“There is need for a policy that will take us to where we want to be. Nigeria just signed African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AFCTA).
“We need an auto policy that will be enduring; we don’t want a policy that we will have and after few years, we will need to change it and that is why we are calling for more contributions.
“We are doing that so as not to take away from those that have invested in it now. We are looking at the sector now because we want to compete with the whole continent.
“We are using this opportunity to shape things in the way we want it to be for the future because the auto policy is not only critical but pivotal for the growth of the economy,” she said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cars45, Etuk Etop, said that the reason for the launch of Autoprenuer Programme was to give hope to the teeming youths faced with unemployment.
He said the programme had been designed to accommodate as many youths that wants to be part of the scheme.
“We can say that within a month of opening the portal for the registration on Autoprenuer Programme, we already have 10,000 people signed up. Nevertheless, we want every home to be part of it.
“This is a programme that can accommodate all citizens without asking for educational qualifications and very easy to access. We want to give all Nigerians another option of source of income.
“We are blessed as a country, so we want everyone to marshal their energy towards a new Nigerian economy model that can be self-sustaining for all,” he said. (NAN)