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Auto makers berate Senate over N3.9bn Toyota SUVs

THE Nigeria’s upper legisla­tive chamber has been heav­ily criticised by local automo­bile manufacturers over the decision of its leadership to import Toyota Land Cruiser V8, allegedly at a cost far above the showroom price and have consequently called on the Bureau of Public Pro­curement (BPP) to restrain it from “wandering out of con­trol.”
The auto makers who spoke at a press conference under their umbrella body, the Nigerian Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA), decried the pro­curement of wholly imported
SUVs as “despicable and catastrophic to about 4,000 jobs and roughly 50 ancillary industries currently engaged by the home-grown Origi­nal Equipment Manufactur­ers (OEMs).” Speaking with the press in Lagos recently, NAMA members, through their Chairman, Mr. Tokunbo Aromolaran, argued that the “unpatriotic” act of the Sen­ate impedes the growth of the local automotive industry, which is currently implement­ing the much applauded auto policy (or the Nigerian Au­tomotive Industry Develop­ment Plan (NAIDP) designed to encourage local production of vehicles. “The Senate could have saved suffering Nigerians 40 per cent of the eventual outlay
and sustain at least 50 medium scale enterprises had it procured vehicles assembled by talented and diligent Nigerian workforce,” Aromolaran remarked. Listing SUVs currently being assembled in Nigeria to include Nissan Patrol, Innoson G5 and Kia Mohave, the NAMA Chairman said the industry was shocked to learn of the decision of the Senate to “procure imported fully built SUVs when much more affordable locally assembled alternatives were offered.

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