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FG, Stakeholders Chart Way Forward For Automotive Industry

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As stakeholders wait for President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the automotive industry bill, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, has stated there are plan to engage stakeholders on the way forward. He disclosed this at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) 2019 Presidential Policy Dialogue in Lagos, at the weekend. According to the minister, the bill prepared by the former administration was

not received at the National Assembly, hence the plan to engage all stakeholders in the industry to get it right this time around. According to Adebayo, “We have decided to engage all stakeholders in the industry. It is like starting afresh to get it right. The last one that was done was not done well. We have to get it right this time. We are going to engage all the stakeholders, and in the next couple of weeks, I will be visiting all the assembly plants.

“I want to see every single assembly plant that exists and thereafter call a meeting to have them sit down together to discuss the way forward for the auto industry.”The present administration, he said, is desirous to see thatMade-in-Nigeria cars are being purchased at reasonable prices.“This is the reason we need to have a roundtable to seek your advice on how we can make cars affordable for Nigerians. You are the people that would implement the policies we come up with, so we need to

benefit from your expertise,”‎ he said. “We are focused on addressing the challenges which exist in our business environment. Many government regulatory agencies are on a continuous process of formulating different initiatives that address huge areas of concern, which includes the need for modern infrastructure, power supply and good road network across the country, the need to improve local patronage, ease of doing business, access to funds by small and medium enterprises, and the issue of multiple taxation.

“We will continue to engage the LCCI and the organised private sector to come up with policies to encourage investment and improve the ease

of doing business in the country.”

President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Babatunde Ruwase, said that these are surely not the best of times for the

Nigerian economy.

Ruwase said, “The short term outlook of the key economic indicators is not looking bright.  As we all know, the major trigger of the economic downturn was the decline in oil price, as the economy is still largely dependent on oil sector, both for revenue and foreign exchange earnings.

“This time calls for reforms in the economy.  However, we believe that the Nigerian economy has strong fundamentals. The resources are enormous, the domestic market is large and the people are resourceful and enterprising.”

He noted that there are numerous potentials yet untapped, saying that “we need the right mix of policies to achieve the desired outcomes. I am aware that some policy choices have been made by the present administration to promote economic diversification, stabilise the foreign exchange market and promote small businesses.”

He explained that there is need for regular engagements and communication on policy issues to ensure quality feedback and enrich the policy making process.  He added that this should cover macro-economic policies, sectoral policies, saying these will include foreign exchange policy, Trade policy, Tax policy, Energy policy, transport policy, Industrial policy, Agricultural policy, ICT policy, among others.

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