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FG to launch auto-credit for auto industry

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Nigerians will get easy access to purchase safe and locally made products.

During a 3-day automobile conference in Lagos, it was revealed by the federal government that they will be initiating an auto-credit scheme to support the growth of the local automobile industry. Doris Uzoka-Anite, the minister for industry, trade, and investment, made this announcement. Joseph Osanipin, the director general of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), who represented her at the event, said the main goal of the scheme is to make it easier for Nigerians to purchase locally made products.

This automotive conference couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment, declared the minister. The timing aligns perfectly with the federal government’s increased emphasis on the agenda for renewed hope. Over the past few months, the minister has been updating them on the various initiatives being implemented to drive progress and expansion within the automobile sector. Creating an auto credit scheme is the initial measure being taken by the government to boost demand in the market.

Counterfeit parts affect the industry and the economy.

There is a unique practice in Nigeria where vehicles are purchased with full cash payment upfront, this is a method not commonly seen in other economies. It is essential to establish a credit program to facilitate individuals interested in purchasing locally made products to gather, borrow funds, and afford the purchase of vehicles. She mentioned that the government’s efforts include shifting Nigeria’s status from a nation that primarily assembles products to one that focuses on manufacturing.

The minister announced that a collaboration agreement, known as a memorandum of understanding (MoU), will be signed between the manufacturers of vehicle parts and the companies that assemble the vehicles to achieve their goals. Ngozi Emechebe, the president of the Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPAMDA), raised concerns about the growing presence of counterfeit auto spare parts in the market. Emechebe emphasised that these fake parts not only affect the industry but also have negative repercussions on the economy.

Annual losses of ₦100 billion are recorded due to road accidents.

According to Emechebe, fake auto parts are imitations of genuine parts that are often of lower quality and unauthorised by manufacturers. Imitation parts may come with a lower price tag compared to authentic parts. However, they are frequently unreliable and could pose a safety risk. Counterfeiting is a pervasive problem in Nigeria, affecting virtually every aspect of the economy. It is a well-known issue that has plagued various industries and sectors. According to estimates, Nigeria suffers annual losses of around ₦100 billion due to road accidents, a significant number of which can be attributed to the use of counterfeit parts in vehicles.

At ASPAMDA, they have zero tolerance for counterfeit parts being circulated, as their members are equipped with the knowledge and awareness to steer clear of such products. Emechebe announced that ASPAMDA and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) are working together to tackle the issue of counterfeit parts being sold in the market. Additionally, Georgina Lloyd, the exhibition manager at BtoB Events Limited, emphasised that the goal of the conference is to increase knowledge and foster agreement on ways to strengthen Nigeria’s automotive components and parts manufacturing sector.

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In addition to the efforts outlined at the automobile conference, it is also crucial for the government to invest in infrastructure development to support the growth of the local car manufacturing industry. Improving transportation networks, upgrading the power supply, and expanding access to reliable water sources are essential steps in creating a conducive environment for manufacturing operations. Adequate infrastructure will not only benefit the automobile sector but also attract more investors and stimulate overall economic growth in Nigeria.

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