Many local manufacturers like Volkswagen Nigeria and Steyr have totally disappeared from the radar. Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) and Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company Limited (ANAMMCO) are the only companies retaining a sense of dignity.
Some of the problems facing the industry are:
The inability of Nigerians to afford locally-assembled cars.
The high cost of production.
A poor operating environment.
Despite the ability of a company like PAN to survive in such a hostile environment, its production capacity has decreased severely over the years. Presently it can only produce 22 cars a day.
Nigeria's dream of industrialisation risks suffering a major setback as non-Nigerian vehicle importers will effectively control the industry if local manufacturing comes to a halt. A disintegration of the industry will also leave thousand of workers unemployed
Experts suggest that
government take the following steps to rescue the automobile manufacturing industry:
Provide legislation on consumer credit that will enable more Nigerians to afford locally-made cars.
Scrap customs duties for the importation of raw materials used in local car manufacturing.
Force those who import more than 2 000 vehicles a year to set up assembly plants. This can attract foreign investment as well as create local jobs.
Launch a campaign to encourage citizens to buy made-in-Nigeria goods.
President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has promised to try and revive Nigeria's automobile manufacturing sector.