Can the Nigerian designer of the Chevy Volt revitalize his country’s auto industry?

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Nigeria’s government has long talked about diversifying its oil-dependent economy but it’s actions have not always matched the bluster.

Over the past few years, the automobile manufacturing industry has seemed like a plausible alternative. The hope is that it will help create thousands of jobs and draw large-scale investment from global car-makers, Nigeria’s government has been keen to tap into that potential.

To this end, the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) was set up in May 2014 after a merger of previous agencies. Much of NADDC’s work has been guided by an automotive policy approved in 2013. The policy mainly aims to boost local car production and reduce vehicle imports.

Nigeria’s government has long talked about diversifying its oil-dependent economy but it’s actions have not always matched the bluster.

Over the past few years, the automobile manufacturing industry has seemed like a plausible alternative. The hope is that it will help create thousands of jobs and draw large-scale investment from global car-makers, Nigeria’s government has been keen to tap into that potential.

To this end, the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) was set up in May 2014 after a merger of previous agencies. Much of NADDC’s work has been guided by an automotive policy approved in 2013. The policy mainly aims to boost local car production and reduce vehicle imports.

Aliyu’s appointment is timely as projections by a 2015 Price water house Coopers (PwC) report show that while locally assembled cars only accounted for 15% of car sales in 2014, that figure could rise to 70% by 2050 depending on economic growth. Even then, used cars will remain a prominent feature of Nigeria’s automobile market, the difference though is that the demand will be “generated internally rather than by foreign imports,” PwC says.

(qz)

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