Use of made-in-Nigeria cars by Mr President ‘ll lift auto industry - Adegbenro

By Moses Akaigwe on 17/06/2015

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Rasheed Adegbenro, the Assistant General Manager (Sales/Public Relations), in the defunct Volkswagen of Nigeria, and until recently, the Ag. Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), speaks on the importance of the President and other top government officials riding in locally made vehicles.

Patriotic duty

In a very patriotic environment, government officials are expected to utilize official resources to patronise locally manufactured products. This is a standard practice worldwide. For a developing country such as Nigeria where government is the single largest spender in the economy, the utilization of state resources to power the economy cannot be challenged by any international trade protocol. The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has consistently drawn attention to this error in national policy notwithstanding the fact that government memo concerning patronage of local products exists. The Bureau of Public Procurement was established to give meaning to the policy. It is a matter of regret that government is a major breaker of its laws.


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Past leaders  

Gen.Olusegun Obasanjo as military Head of State used Peugeot 504 as official vehicle during his tenure. It is on record that President Shehu Shagari dropped the policy and subsequent leaders have shunned the use of local automobiles while in office. President Obasanjo in his second coming as civilian leader seemed to have forgotten the impact which his adoption of locally assembled vehicle had on the patronage of Peugeot 504 by the general public because of his use of SUVs while in office between 1999-2007.


 The significance of the use of locally made vehicle as official car of Mr. President immediately raises the public profile of the brand. It also demonstrates that government is committed to local manufacturing, and therefore, assures local and foreign investors that government is committed to its policies not only for automobiles, but all made in Nigeria products. The impact of current attitude of government is signal that the administration would pay lip service to its industrialization policy.

In fact, the observation at the swearing ceremony has made nonsense of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) as well as the auto policy launched by the Jonathan administration. Major victims would be potential investors in local content supply to the assembly plants who would be quick to recall the fate of suppliers that supported the assembly plants commissioned in the 1970s. In summary, it is one step backward in our industrial drive and it could take more than five steps forward to convince investors that government is serious about its intentions. 

High/special specifications

When Gen. Obasanjo used Peugeot 504 in the 1970s, there was no security concern because the vehicles in the Presidential Fleet were fitted with appropriate safety elements like bullet-proof facility. The issue of comfort, safety, and others, are usually addressed by custom-fitted gadgets and could be requested by anyone willing to pay extra for such gadgets.  



Source The Sun

Posted on June, 17 2015

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