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Nigeria accelerates electric vehicle development project

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Nigeria is on the verge of mass-producing electric vehicles as part of measures to shift attention away from the rising cost of fuel. Already, the Federal Government is expected to ratify the Electric Vehicle (EV) Development Plan in the coming weeks.

At a workshop in Abuja on Thursday, the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu said that the development plan has entered its final stage for ratification and implementation.

The plan aims to position Nigeria as a leading country in vehicle electrification as it works towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2060. According to Jelani, one of the main focuses of the plan is promoting local production of electric vehicles, with a target of at least 30 per cent local production.

To support the adoption of EVs, federal, state, and local governments, as well as companies with government contracts, would be mandated to purchase and patronise EVs. This, he stressed, would be driven by the need for cost-effective and sustainable transportation solutions due to the higher costs of gasoline and diesel.

Aliyu emphasised the importance of developing indigenous vehicles with local content and intellectual property suitable for Nigeria’s extreme conditions. The aim is to provide a more cost-effective transportation system for Nigerians.

He also highlighted Nigeria’s renewable energy and natural resources, such as lithium and petrochemicals, that could power the EVs, noting that the NADDC, in collaboration with the private sector, was already working towards deploying charging points along highways and road networks to establish an effective EV ecosystem.

On the timeframe for this, he said it would be achieved by year’s end.

To ensure effective implementation of the plan, Jelani recommended that the Federal Government pass the 2023 National Automotive Industry Development Plan Bill to provide legislative support and attract foreign direct investment, FDI, in the automotive sector.

In addition to the legislative support, he proposed the approval of the plan and policy and dedicated funding for a vehicle finance scheme focused on EVs.

This would make EVs affordable nationwide, ensure stricter vehicle emission regulations, and facilitate the development of necessary EV charging infrastructure.

He said that the government should enforce compliance with Executive Order 003, which mandates the procurement of locally produced vehicles by government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) as well as private companies working on government contracts.

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