Our Attention has been drawn to a misleading headline posted by Channels TV on their social media platform with the headline “FG Will Not Buy Substandard Made In Nigeria Vehicles – Minister”
The Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite would like the clear the air and set the records straight on what she disclosed virtually at the National Automotive Design and Development Industry annual stakeholders meeting held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lagos as the said post on Channels TV official X formerly Twitter account has generated mixed reactions from Nigerians who gave a wrong meaning to what the Honorable minister said.
We wish to state unequivocally that at no point did she call Made-In-Nigeria cars substandard, rather, she highlighted the need for robust self-regulatory measures in the industry to meet top quality required in the global standard for car production. This, she said, is to enhance safety, durability and after-sale value.
While addressing the stakeholders of the local automobile manufacturing sector, she noted the need for quality as the benchmark for car production with good aftersales value.
She further harped on the need for players in the industry to self-regulate the industry and make top-quality vehicles with reliable aftersales.
She said that the government is just like every other customer who wants value for the money spent in terms of quality and after-sales value.
In her words, “the government is a consumer and they are also your customers, and like every other customer, they are not immune to bad service. That we are government does not mean we should patronize bad products because they are made in Nigeria.”
At no point in time in the conversation did she castigate or undermine made-in-Nigeria cars. She only highlighted things the players need to do to get government patronage, while also disclosing that the government is coming up with policies that will ensure the association gets the right support to thrive by producing cars, not just for the Nigerian market but also for regional and the African markets.
The minister is committed to positioning Nigerian products and automobiles as top choices for trade purposes, which will attract more jobs and create a value chain for the country. So if the industry is thriving well, the Nigerian economy will blossom.
She is committed to ensuring quality benchmarks and also expunging bottlenecks affecting trade and investment in the automobile industry where all players can get access to support from the government but they must first self-regulate and also invest more in quality.
Signed: Oladapo Sofowora
Media Adviser to the Honourable Minister