The Managing Director, Volkswagen of Nigeria (VON) Automobiles, Mr Tokunbo Aromolaran, has urged the Federal Government to initiate a policy that will secure the nation’s automobile industry for investors.
Aromolaran, who is also the Chairman, Nigerian Automobile Manufacturers Association, gave the advice in an interview in Lagos on Thursday.
He said that when initiated, the policy should enable investors in the industry to channel their efforts towards making long-term investment plans and profit.
“It is important that we create a very stable environment and that people that are investing have the assurance that things will not continually change as has been the case in this country in the past few years.
“If that be the case, we would attract investments. If we attract investments, then we will gradually get to where we want to go.
“All we need to do is just to have the guts to give it a start and then, nothing that is good comes without pain.
“There must be a little birth pain that we have to go through, after which we can then have a level and competitive playing field.
“If we keep having tokunbo (used) cars flood the market, the volume produced locally would be small and the prices will be high.
“And that was the rationale for the tariff structure to support the local assembly facilities such that they can produce in high numbers.
“High numbers mean you can spread your overheads and each unit cost will be much lower.
“What we want to achieve is one situation in which we can produce cars at about the same price as a lot of our people spend on buying five, seven year-old cars, which will never pass any emission test anywhere in the world.
“This is the only place those cars will find acceptance. Other people have rejected them.
“We have to start being part of being human and start living a fairly decent life.’’
The managing director decried the massive importation of second-hand vehicles, saying that it had the capacity to affect the country’s automobile development plan.
According to him, the automobile industry in Nigeria has the resources and the manpower required for the production of automobiles to equal its counterparts in developed economies.