NATIONAL Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, is set to facilitate the implementation of the proposed N7.5 billion local car purchase loans scheme initiated by the immediate past government of President Goodluck Jonathan. Director General of the NADDC, Engr. Aminu Jalal disclosed this in Abuja yesterday while receiving members of the Vehicles Owners Association of Nigeria, VOAN, who paid him a courtesy call in his office. Engr Jalal said the purpose of the loan scheme was to encourage Nigerians to buy new locally assembled vehicles instead of the usual practice of buying fairly used ones popularly known as ‘tokunbo.’ “Our vision is to bring back the time when we were in the 70s when we were not importing used vehicles.
All the vehicles were new. We are hoping that in the nearest future Nigerians will be buying new vehicles and one of the things that needed to be done is this vehicle loan,” he said. While expressing the readiness of the council to work with VOAN, he urged the group to properly organise its members so that that they could easily access the loan, adding that it would be provided at a lower interest rate. He said with the influx of vehicle assembly plants into Nigeria, the aim of the automotive council was to make Nigeria the hub of the automobile industry in Africa.
While delivering his speech, the president of VOAN, Odo Vincent Okoko commended the council for the initiative, adding that it was high time Nigerians stopped using junk vehicles and embrace government’s intervention to make life easier. He assured the council that the group would not only organise its members but also ensure that the loan when granted did not turn to bad loans. “We are anxiously waiting for the implementation of this game changing scheme, which shall bring Nigerians at par with their south African counterparts in terms of wide spread usage of brand new vehicles on our roads.
“We enjoin you to include our association in the loan process-flow in such a way that every benefiacry of the scheme must obtain a Letter of comfort ‘ from our association before assessing funds from the loan scheme. By this way, we assure you that our association would be better positioned to use group pressure to recover loans from beneficiaries and ensure the survival of this laudable scheme,” Odo said. The federal government had last month through the director, Policy and Planning of NADDC, Mr. Luqman Mamudu, hinted of a N7.5billion car purchase loan scheme in collaboration with a South African firm. The group also presented a commendation card to Engr. Jalal for his contributions to the growth of the automotive industry.