The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has called on automobile industries in Nigeria to invest in developmental research to achieve sustainability toward market forces.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the minister, Mr Taye Akinyemi on Wednesday to the newsmen.
According to the statement, Onu made the call when the management team of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) paid him a courtesy visit.
It quoted the minister as saying that deepened research would enable the industries withstand developments that might arise as a result of competitions and unstable market forces.
Onu noted that all the automobile companies that made positive impacts on the economy in the 80’s and 90’s collapsed because they did not invest on research and development projects.
He told the team that multinationals companies all over the world always site research institute in their laboratory and factory to enable them plan and carry out their developmental projects.
Onu expressed appreciation for the contributions some companies made to support the growth of small scale industries in the country.
“I want them to do more in local content development as the Buhari’s administration is striving to industrialise the country,” he said.
He charged companies to always source for their components locally to build the capacity of small scale industries that would supply the components.
He appealed to Nigerians to look inward and patronise locally made goods, adding, “we have the largest market in Africa; we have the largest economy on the continent.”
Earlier, the Managing Director of PAN, Ibrahim Boyi disclosed that PAN was the only automobile company in Nigeria that remained in operation up till date and called for active government policy for its continued survival.
According to the PAN boss, the company which produced reliable vehicles in the past and had also achieved 40 per cent local content in the 80’s has assembled two plants locally.
Mr Boyi said that PAN was committed to creating employment and entrepreneurs by training youths in the society and reducing cost of ownership for their customers and also embarked on community Social Responsibility Programme.
“PAN 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 industrialisation.
“The company has packaged ICT back up training programme and is looking for organisation that share the same commitment for partnership to open garage across the country for the training of youths on the skills required to manage the new products,” it said.