Mark Wants Enabling Environment For Indigenous Automobile Manufacturers

  • Sat, 12 May 2012 01:26:14 -0500 - Nigerian Tide
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Senate President, David Mark, has urged the
Federal Government to encourage indigenous automobile manufacturers by
providing them with a conducive environment.

According to him, the effort will also
enable Nigeria to achieve industrial revolution.

Mark made the call during Tuesday’s Plenary
Session while ruling on the bill for an Act to repeal the National Automotive
Council Act and the Centre for Automotive Design and Development Act.

The bill which seeks to provide for an Act
establishing the National Automotive Design and Development Council passed
through second reading on the floor of the Senate.

Mark said, “Government should encourage
private indigenous automobile manufacturing companies.

“We tend to discourage our local automotive
industry and unless we encourage them this country cannot achieve technological
development. ’’

He challenged the executive arm of
government to summon the political will to implement the various laws passed by
the National Assembly.

“My prayer is that we will have the
willpower to implement all the laws and resolutions emanating from the National
Assembly.

“For us, we are very prepared to push as
much as we can and leave it for those who have the power of implementation to
do so accordingly,’’ Mark added.

In his lead debate, the Leader of the
Senate, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba (PDP-Cross River) said the merger of the two
agencies would boost efficiency, productivity as well as generate employment opportunities.

Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP- Abia) said
that the passage of the bill would spur the new agency to perform its
responsibility efficiently.

“Let the passage of this bill be a
challenge to spur the agency to perform with efficiency. We should not just set
up this agency but we must ensure that it performs, ‘’ he said.

Sen. Shola Adeyeye (ACN- Osun) urged the
Senate to go beyond the automotive industry by considering the merger of other
government agencies with similar functions.

“We can even go further to look at every
ministry and agency to consider where we can merge those who discharged similar
functions.

“We cannot have a functional automobile
industry until we have stable power and a functional steel industry,’’ he
added.

Sen. Chris Anyanwu (APGA- Imo) stressed the
need for government to invest in research and development as key to industrial
development.

“With their merger, I believe there will be
better synergy. “We have to invest on research and development, and shield our
research institutes from politics, ‘’she said.

Opposing the bill, Sen. Olubunmi Adetunmbi
(ACN-Ekiti) said the Senate could only debate the matter after studying the
report of the Stephen Orosanye-led Committee on rationaliation of government
agencies.

“It will be helpful for the Senate to have
access to the Orosanye report, and then we can have a holistic understanding of
the issues.

“This bill and the amendment it is seeking
are cosmetic. What we should concern ourselves with is the value this merger
and what it will add to the automotive industry,’’ Adeyeye argued.

Also opposing the bill, Sen. Ben Ayade
(PDP- Cross River) said there was no basis to merge the two agencies because
they performed different functions.

“Its unfair to merge these two agencies
because they have different functions.

“We should enact law to stop importation of
complete vehicles into the country and compel investor to set up assembly
plants in Nigeria, ‘’ Ayade suggested.

The Bill was referred to the Senate
Committee on Industries for further legislative action and expected to report
to the Senate in two weeks.

Meanwhile, the Senate on Tuesday observed a
one-minute silence in honour of the victims of the terrorist attack in Potiskum
and the late Nigerian football star, Mr Rashidi Yekini who died last week.

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