Vice President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed yesterday that Nigerians spend about $8 billion annually to import vehicles into the country. Speaking at the 19th Abuja Motor Fair yesterday, the vice president noted that government will work with motor manufacturers and stakeholders to ensure used cars are phased out of the country. “The government is fully committed to industrialisation and developing the mining sector to enable it create direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians. About $8 billion goes to overseas for importation of vehicles while Nigerians are suffering. Also, most of the used vehicles imported are unsafe and not good for the citizens,’’ he said. Osinbajo, who was represented by the director-general, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, said government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Volkswagen Group to develop an automotive hub in Nigeria. He said the MoU was a major step toward the development of a robust automotive industry, which will contribute to the continuous economic development of the country.
Osinbajo also said government believed in the strategic and catalytic role of the automotive industry in the diversification of the Nigerian economy, even as he revealed that the Nnewi automotive parts industrial park had got its master plan and would soon be functional. Demola Ade-Ojo, managing director, JAC Motors, said increased importation of used cars would affect the production of new vehicles in the country.
He advised government and the stakeholders to work together to ensure that new cars being assembled in the country were affordable.
Sanction vehicles without valid insurance cover — NIA
The Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA) yesterday called for effective implementation of sanctions on vehicles plying highways without valid insurance cover. The chairman of NIA, Mr Tope Smart, told newsmen in Lagos that the implementation would reduce economic loss, violators and enhance insurance mitigation for mishaps. Smart said vehicles without valid insurance cover violated Section 38 of National Insurance Act of 2003, which clearly states that Third Party Motor Insurance is required as part of minimum auto cover any car must carry. “Penalty for non-compliance can include a fine of N250,000 and, or one year imprisonment’’, he said.
Smart, however, commended the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) for making sure that motorists comply with the statutory regulations as regards insurance cover. “How can insurance also play its role of mitigation without valid insurance cover,’’ he asked. Smart said that the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report released in August estimated a total of 11.7 million vehicles in the country as at June and that “NIA investigation revealed that about five million of these vehicles were insured, leaving 6.7 million vehicles uninsured.’’ Smart also expressed regret that many vehicle owners did not learn from a recent mishap in Lagos State. “The ill-fated fuel tanker that caused explosion on Otedola Bridge recently had no valid insurance paper. When the registration number of the tanker NSR888YC was entered on Nigerian Insurance Industry Database (NIID) platform, the type of insurance and other useful information did not display unlike other vehicles with valid insurance papers,’’ he said.
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