Industry Minister, NADDC, NAMA others brainstorm on auto industry development

The stakeholders spoke at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Auto Industry Summit (NAISU), held in Lagos on Thursday, June 27, where they urged the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for the sector to thrive.

The forum was organised by the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA), with the theme “Developing Nigeria’s Economy Through the Auto Industry.”

Leading the conversation, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, assured stakeholders that the Federal Government was committed to creating an enabling environment for the automotive sector to thrive.

Represented by Deputy Director, of the Industry Development Department, Mrs. Olumuyiwa Ajayi-Ade, the minister said: “We have introduced several policies and initiatives aimed at supporting this industry.”

The minister acknowledged challenges in the sector, such as inadequate access to finance, limited local content in vehicle production, and the need for policy consistency.

According to the minister, the Federal Government is committed to working with industry stakeholders to overcome challenges and create a conducive environment for growth: “The automotive sector holds the key to reviving Nigeria’s economy and positioning our nation as a hub for automotive manufacturing in Africa.

“With the right policies, investments, and collaborative efforts, we can transform this sector into a significant driver of economic growth and development.

“I urge all stakeholders; government agencies, private sector players, financial institutions, and development partners to join hands in this endeavor.

“Together, we can build a vibrant and sustainable automotive industry that will drive Nigeria’s economic revival and ensure a prosperous future for all.”

In his submission, the Director General, of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Joseph Osanipin said Nigeria’s reliance on imported cars is putting pressure on the nation’s foreign exchange market and hindering job creation.

Osanipin said Nigeria must strive towards a future where it becomes not just a consumer, but also a producer of high-quality automobiles.

According to him, the percentage of auto industry contributions to the GDP and job creation is still very low compared to African countries like Morocco and South Africa.

While encouraging interested individuals and corporate bodies to invest in local production of vehicles and spare parts, Osanipin said NADDC was committed to supporting research and development initiatives that will lead to the creation of new technologies and solutions tailored for the Nigerian market.

“We need to support locally-made vehicles. By choosing Made-in-Nigeria cars, you are investing in the future of our nation. Let us consume what we produce and produce what we consume,” he said.

In their presentation, automakers in Nigeria through their umbrella body, the Nigerian Automotive Manufacturers Association {NAMA}, underscored the tremendous impact a vibrant automotive industry can have on the economy, including employment generation, contribution to GDP, skills development, and bringing into existence support industries.

The brilliant presentation by a NAMA council member, Ben Ejindu, on the theme of the summit  –  Developing Nigeria’s Economy Through the Automotive Industry,  highlighted the attractive potential of Nigeria’s auto industry, which has the aggregate capacity to produce no fewer than 1,250,000 vehicles per annum at its existing CKD and SKD plants.

Ejindu, who is also the Chief Operating Officer of ANAMMCO, Enugu, called for the immediate setting in motion of the process of having the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP 2023-2033) signed into law in order to catalyze the sector.

Also speaking, Wale Adeniyi, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said the proliferation of used cars in Nigeria was further weakening the naira and straining the local manufacturers in the country.

“The Nigerian car market is dominated by used vehicles imported all across the world. These vehicles are often cheaper and more affordable than their brand-new counterparts, and sometimes the locally assembled vehicles.

“These abundant and affordable used vehicles dampen demand for new locally assembled cars, and hinder growth in the domestic industry,” said Adeniyi represented by Kenny Daniyan, area controller of PTML Customs command.

He said the Nigeria Customs Service currently enforces an import prohibition on vehicles older than 15 years as contained in schedule three of the common external Tariff, from entering Nigerian car markets as a way to reducing the import of used cars.

“This is tailored at further supporting and encouraging growth in the Nigerian Automotive Industry.”

Executive Director, NAMA, Mr Remi Olaofe, urged the government to revive tire, battery, and glass manufacturing as a precursor to reviving local manufacture of key components, while the National Coordinator, Association of Local Content Manufacturers {ALCMAN], Chief Anselm Ilekuba, spoke on the importance of local content in a viable automotive industry.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Nigerian Auto Journalist Association (NAJA), Mr Mike Ochonma said the Summit forms part of NAJA’s contributions to the development of the sector.

The Chairman of the summit organizing committee, Femi Owoeye, assured the guests that a communique would be articulated, bound and delivered to the relevant federal government agencies, some state governments, and key stakeholders.

One of the high points of the forum was an exhibition of mainly nade-in-Nigeria vehicles that run on  compressed natural gas (CNG) by some auto manufacturers, including Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd (IVM), Nnewi, Anambra state which displayed a double-cabin pick-up

The IVM pick-up, it was learned, left the Nnewi plant on Wednesday morning with a full cylinder of CNG, stopped over in Benin to refill, and arrived at the Radisson Hotel venue in Lagos in the afternoon that day.

Kia Motors Nigeria showcased an all-green Kia Rio powered by CNG at the summit, while Jet Motors flaunted the Jet Mover van, also with an autogas engine.

Other exhibitors were Globe Motors with a cooling van built on Hyundai, HD45. and the Motors Division of Mikano International which exhibited a Maxus CNG pick-up.

Source: The Sun

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