The federal government said it is currently working on a policy to make it mandatory for Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, to purchase locally manufactured vehicles for official use.
The government also disclosed that it has already reduced duties on imported vehicles from 35 to 5 percent, explaining that its action was aimed at reducing the high cost of transportation which has an effect on inflation.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this at the maiden special media briefing by MDAs, organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa,Abuja, said state governments would also be engaged to go for locally produced vehicles for their operational activities.
Sher said: “Yesterday, (Wedneday), I had said the Nigerian Customs Service has sent out guidelines to all its posts to begin immediate implementation of the new rates as approved by the Finance Act 2020 and I explained to you that when a bill like Finance Act is passed, it is first conveyed by the Parliament to the President.
”The President conveys it to the ministry and the agencies that have the various amendments as it affects their laws. Each agency reviews and releases guidelines for implementation.
“So Nigerian Customs has reviewed these guidelines and has notified all its operational posts to start implementing the new rates, so it has taken effect.
“The federal government is committed to buying made in Nigeria products and made in Nigeria vehicles, in particular. So, we will be hoping to have a Federal Executive Council, FEC, approval to compel federal government agencies to buy made in Nigeria vehicles as much as is practicable.
”So, when the security agencies need a security vehicle that is specially designed, and you don’t have it in Nigeria, we will still need to buy the ones that is outside.
“We’re hoping to also engage states and encourage them to take similar measures. It is important for us because we want to make sure the automotive industry survives and grows. ”The Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has just finished a review of automated policy, which has been running now for seven years.
”I must say that the policy has not been reviewed before, so this is the first review that is being done and the essence of the review is to see whether it has achieved the designed targets.
”Once the ministry gets its approvals, then the review will be announced and perhaps there will be a refreshing of the measures that are contained in that policy.”