Chairman of the Nigerian Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA), Tokunbo Aromolaran disclosed on Thursday that if the Senate had considered patronizing the Nigerian-made SUV, about N1.47 billion could have been saved from the amount intended on importation.
Recall the controversy behind the budget to purchase 400 SUVs worth N4.7 billion for Senate members at this time of the nation’s economic crisis. Addressing the press conference in Lagos, Aromolaran decried the lack of patronage of made-in-Nigeria products by government and its agencies, adding that local vehicle assemblers could provide luxury automobiles in the same category in terms of features and standards with those currently being purchased by the senators.
Engr. Tokunbo Aromolaran said locally-assembled SUVs will be offered at a price about 40 – 50 per cent cheaper than those being imported by the Senate.
In his words,
“We showed them the price ranges and how it will make economic sense to patronise local manufacturers in terms of job opportunities for Nigerians.
“They would have saved between 40 and 50 per cent of the amount they are going to spend if they had bought from us.”
His explanations pointed out that Nigerian leaders should lead by example through their actions and this is in reference to earlier consideration by the Senate representatives to create a policy which will compel all government agencies and institutions to patronise Nigeria made product.
The purchase of the foreign made luxury SUVs did not ogre well with many Nigerians and some members of the Senate voted against it. Senate Chief Whip, Prof. Olusola Adeyeye voted against buying official cars for top government officials. He urge members of the National Assembly and all government officials to reduce luxury in order to move Nigeria forward.
Senator Bruce was cited on twitter saying he will not accept any SUV entitlement unless it is Nigerian-made SUV. Meanwhile Aromolaran insisted that the SUVs being produced by the local assemblers are of the same quality as those being imported.