Kia boss tasks Buhari on economic blueprint for automobile industry

kiaTHE Chief Executive Officer of Kia Motors Nigeria, Jacky Hathiramani has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the lingering issues affecting the growth of automobile industry.

There is no gainsaying to the fact that the automobile industry in Nigeria has potential to contribute immensely to the growth and development of the country’s economy. Many countries across the globe have harnessed the great imports of the industry to enhance the growth and sustainability of their respective economy.

Notable amongst these countries include South Africa where automobile sector held a special place in its industrialization strategy. But, one of the major challenges bedeviling the development of automobile industry is the staggering amount and alarming rate of used vehicles importations.

In a statement made available to The Guardian, Hathiramani said, “At the current state of the nation’s economy with numerous challenges, it is paramount for the new government to focus on the overall rejuvenation of the sector, economic strategy and trade policy.

He posited on the germane significance of the industry and how pertinent it is for the new administration under the stewardship of President Buhari to bring to stand the progressive change it had instituted in its campaigns and programmes to the automobile industry. “For the industry to grow, the importation of used vehicles needs to be addressed.

“Despite the business challenges it poses to the local manufacturers, the level of the economic menace it constitutes cannot be overemphasized. The government needs to be steadfast in its pursuit of economy growth by tackling importation of used vehicles and also strengthening the border to drastically reduce the spate of smuggling into the country.

When the administration addresses the influx of the used vehicles, there will be a corresponding demand for the new locally made cars which will create a mass production and in turn drastically reduce the prices owing to a resultant effect on the cost of production. He stated that the foreign automakers who are not partnering with local companies to establish assembly plant needs to be barred from operating in the country to help strengthen the local assembling plants.

He stressed that most importantly; the government needs to encourage the siting of local assembly plant “There is the need for the new administration to establish a constructive and transparent policy to promote the development of local businesses.

If the policies are well implemented, Nigeria will in no time supply the made-in-Nigeria vehicles to neighbouring countries and the country can move from consuming economy to a producing nation thereby ushering in trade surplus in the country’s balance of trade”, Hathiramani said.

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