ECOWAS Commission partners NADDC on regional auto policy

Engr. Aminu Jalal, DG NADDC

The ECOWAS Commission is partnering with the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) with a view to evolving a framework for the establishment of a regional automotive policy in West Africa.

In this respect, a delegation from the ECOWAS Commission Secretariat led by the Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, Dr Kalilou Traore was hosted to a meeting in NADDC Headquarters Abuja by the Director General, Engr. Aminu Jalal and Director Policy and Planning, Mr Luqman Mamudu.

Dr Traore remarked that the regional body acknowledged the successes recorded so far by Nigeria in its auto industry development, especially with the establishment of numerous vehicle assembly plants; pointing out that such a laudable industrial policy should be adopted at the regional level so that its benefits could extend to other West African countries. 

He noted that the ECOWAS Commission had adopted Nigeria’s automotive agenda at a meeting in Ghana early this year. This brought priority investment sector to four; the others are food, pharmaceuticals and building construction materials.

He said that as follow-up, the commission was planning to host a regional workshop of experts to discuss holistically matters relating to auto industry development with a view to having a common regulated market in the region in order to facilitate increased flow of investments and trade transactions among the West African countries.

According to him, issues expected to be discussed at the proposed regional workshop  include common regulation and standards, rule of origin, CET, components parts manufacturing, maintenance garages, vehicle credit financing, measures to curtail inflow of used vehicles into the region, etc; with all relevant stakeholders including manufacturers, dealers, finance institutions participating. 

He was of the opinion that governments in West Africa should consider the use of Made in Nigeria automobiles as official vehicles and also for mass transit services while the other countries in the region should also benefit from investments in components parts development and establishment of auto maintenance service garages.

Responding, NADDC Director General, Engr. Aminu Jalal assured the ECOWAS Commission delegation of the Council’s support for the success of the proposed workshop and readiness to share Nigeria’s experience and expertise with other sister member states of ECOWAS.

Engr. Jalal said that already, Nigeria had approved vehicle safety standards, procedures, tariff structures, investment incentives, and other elements of the Nigerian Automotive Industrial Development Plan (NAIDP) which could be modified and adopted for regional application.

He said that Nigerian assembled vehicles were presently being sold in some West African countries while there was also a huge inflow of imported vehicles enroute Benin Republic and Niger Republic to Nigeria; stressing that it was a good idea to have a common regulation and procedures for the entire West Africa Region.