The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Federal Government to provide bailout funds to automobile industries in the country to save them from collapse.
The House also resolved to investigate the inability of the industry to access foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria after adopting a motion moved by Saheed Akinade-Fijabi.
Moving the motion, Akinade-Fijabi expressed worry that persistent gesture to some automobile companies to establish their plants in Nigeria yielded no fruit.
He further expressed concern that a major automobile industry in Nigeria, Innoson, was joining the league of industries and establishments shutting down operations in Nigeria.
Akinade-Fijabi said: “Nigeria had a breakthrough into automobile manufacturing industries with the commissioning of Innoson Motors to cut down the country’s dependence on importation of vehicles.
“In spite of the euphoria which surrounded its establishment, as well as the expected contributions to the economy, it had joined the league of industries and establishments shutting down operations in Nigeria.
“Investigation reveals that Innoson Motors known for importation of basic motor components, including engines from abroad and assembling them locally is shutting down due to recession.”
Akinade-Fijabi cautioned that if the company was allowed to shut down, it will have negative effect on the country’s economy in the area of revenue and job loss.
He said: “The industrial growth of which automotive industry is one, contributes to the nation’s development in terms of increased foreign earnings and job creation.”
Contributing, the House Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, said that the call to diversify from oil to manufacturing as a way of growing the economy made the motion germane.
Ogor said that there was the need for the Federal Government to come up with clear cut policy on economic diversification.
According to him, Nigerians must work together to get the nation out of the woods.
Ogor said: “The country is in recession and our prayer is that we don’t move into depression.
“We can urge government to provide financial assistance to the industry; but the truth is that government cannot give what it doesn’t have.
“Government should look towards diversifying the economy to earn more foreign exchange.”
On his part, Segun Adekola called on the Federal Government to review the country’s fiscal policy to guarantee manufacturer’s access to foreign exchange.
Ruling on the motion, the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, who presided over plenary, said the House will lead in convoking a national stakeholders meeting to finding solution to problems confronting the industry.
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