By Odunewu Segun
The collapse of the automobile industries in Nigeria has been attributed to the lack of continuous investment in research and development programmes from the early 80s into the 90s.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu gave this indication during a visit of the Managing Director of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, Ibrahim Boyi to his office recently.
He announced that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology intends to support industries in the area of job creation, retain existing one, and create wealth and economic diversification.
Dr. Onu advised auto companies to source for their components locally instead of going abroad, as he says would bring many small scale industries that would supply the component and also build capacity. “We have the largest market in Africa, we have the largest economy on the continent” the minister said.
In his own reaction, Managing Director of PAN, Boyi PAN said that the company was set up in 1972 through joint venture between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Peugeot Automobile of France as part of government deliberate policy to boost industrialization.
He stated that Peugeot is the only local automobile company in Nigeria that is consistent in its operation up till today.
Bovi announced that the company is soliciting for active government policy for its continued survival in the Nigerian economy.
He said with government assistance, PAN would not only create employment and entrepreneurs by training youths in the society but will embark on community social responsibility programme and will reduce purchasing cost for their customers.