Managing Director and CEO of Kia Motors in Nigeria Mr. Jacky Hathiramani has called on the Federal Government to support the growth of the automotive industry which has the potential for the diversification of the economy with value-driven supply chain and scalable backward integration for the economy.
He spoke against the backdrop of the rejection of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) Bill (Auto policy Bill).
Following the auto policy bill, many stakeholders have revitalized old plants and set up new facilities with innovative technologies in the production process of cars that are being introduced to the local market.
But many stakeholders were stunned by the rejection of the bill which, they noted, put the huge investments in the development of the auto plants in jeopardy.
The Kia CEO said: “With the establishment of many automobile assembling plants, heavily funded by private establishments, employment avenues are expanding in the fields of automotive technology and distribution of automobiles in the country.
With “increase in the production of commercial vehicles/passengers’ cars, the automobile sector can expect to have a wide range of opportunities both for wage paid and self-employment ventures in the coming years.
“In fact, the automobile industry is arguably positioned as the barometer of the economic and social transformation taking place in the country. It is one of the major sources of employment and is likely to generate employment for thousands of new hands directly and indirectly in the near future.”
The CEO said the growth of the auto assembly plants would encourage massive local vehicle production and create jobs for unemployed youths.
“When new cars are produced in Nigeria, the local production will grow and have a direct impact on the GDP. This will, in turn, provide large-scale employment, increase the internally generated revenue for the government and help in diversifying the economy amongst other gains.
“The automobile industry has remained one of the highest contributors to the global economy and serves as a fulcrum for the industrialization of countries the world over. Government’s support by way of patronage and sustainable policy framework will usher in a systemic and holistic structural development of the automobile industry in Nigeria,” the Kia CEO stated.