By Dipo Olowookere
It is no longer news that Nigerians, because of some factors, prefer to buy second hand used car instead of brand new ones.
One of the reasons for this is the cost of acquiring new cars, which many see as killing.
But the Federal Government has disclosed that it will launch a Vehicle Credit Acquisition Scheme to help Nigerians purchase locally assembled vehicles.
According to the Director Policy and Planning of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Luqman Mamudu, the FG will contribute about N7.5 billion interest free fund to the scheme.
He made this known at an interactive session with journalists on Wednesday in Lagos.
Mr Mamudu said the partnership is with counterpart funding from a company in South Africa.
He said that the South African company would provide more of the funds for the scheme in conjunction with the African Development Bank (AfDB).
According to Mr Mamudu, Nigeria has the capacity to produce 384,000 units of vehicles annually, but “Unfortunately, the country only produced 25,000 units in 2015.”
He said, “We have been in talks with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to also source for funds to support the credit scheme being planned by the Federal Government in conjunction with our council.
“We have also been working with OEMs in their associations to invest in the local automobile assembling, and even industrial assembling clusters.
“Their major demands have been for the government and relevant agencies to work harder to implement ways to reduce the influx of used cars which has been choking the market.
“We are also glad to announce that three testing laboratories for locally-assembled vehicles are also in the works and these are not just for motorcars alone, but for tractors and heavy-duty vehicles.
“We have not reached our potentials as a nation for locally-assembled vehicles, but we have the capacity to do so,” Mr Mamudu said.