The Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu has said that the solution to Nigeria’s automotive sector does not lie in the hands of anybody, group or individual.
Aliyu, who also pointed out that the Nigerian problem is not lack of resources or funding added that the issue with the sector has to do with lack of unbelief in ourselves.
The NADDC boss was speaking at the automotive industry implementation and monitoring committee meeting with the theme: “2017 Review of National Automotive Industry Development Plan” held at the Renaissance Hotel in Ikeja GRA recently
According to the DG, most Nigerians don’t believe in themselves and therefore do not believe that they can make changes. He however, advised Nigerians that it is good they build a new psyche in the country, stressing that “we have to give all the necessary support to build local capacities. Affordability can be achieved by producing low cost vehicles.”
While admonishing Nigerians to believe in themselves, Aliyu further emphasized that creating financing schemes with low interest rates and manufacturing of components are key and that is why NADDC is focusing in that direction by their automotive projects domiciled in Nnewi in Anambra State, Osogbo in Osun and Kaduna in Kaduna State.
Beyond forcing the government to buy made-in-Nigeria vehicles, Aliyu said NADDC will work together to see that they manufacture cars that would be suitable for the common man; vehicles that will sell itself and ensure that government buys locally made vehicles.
Aliyu said that NADDC is already researching on how to enhance the development of 3-wheeler vehicles which is for the common man.
On electric cars, he said that electric cars are the vehicles of the future, stressing that Nigeria cannot afford to be an island. “We have to move forward with the world.
We have to look at the electric vehicle and give incentives and support to investors. Chevy Volts was very interesting in USA. There is a lot to be done on the part of government to see that they encourage new innovations.
However, our progress will depend on team work and collaboration of Nigerians and friends of Nigeria”.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the automotive sector who were present used the forum to proffer ways forward and also stated different challenges some of them were facing.
Managing Director of ABC Transport, Mr. Frank Nneji commended NADDC for their efforts so far; but stated that it is a high time that the government developed those input industries, just as he urged the government to ensure that the assembly plants are made viable.
While disclosing that they are not happy with the way assembling of vehicles is going in the country, Nneji said, “There is need for tyre industries to be developed; we should also be looking at battery, windscreen and other car accessories. The issue of input is one area that we want NADDC to focus on.
Boniface Nwabuko of SCOA said that there were two challenges that threaten assemblers not to meet up with their installed capacities which include: finance and government policies.
“In auto manufacturing, government patronage is very key. There is no plan on what government is buying on one side in relation to what manufacturers are doing. So we are left with haulage and mass transit; this is dependent on the foreign manufacturers who bring the specifications”.
In his own views, Suleiman Suleiman of PAN Automobile Nigeria Limited said that PAN has been resolute with the auto policy, just as he advised NADDC to device an operating guidelines for all operators in the country.
He however, added that, “The forex challenges is bringing the industry down. NADDC should vigorously improve the policies as it concerns the local content’
In his comment, Alfred Ugbeli of Nigeria Sino Trucks said “There is need to improve the local components. It is true that we are having challenges but we should keep an eye on the global development.
Most countries are moving into electric vehicles. Industry cannot grow with old and smoky vehicles. We should not allow them. The world is moving ahead and we cannot be left behind.
Other areas, stakeholders pointed out are in the areas of certification, Customs, data information, smuggling, importation of used vehicles, amongst others
Meanwhile, NADDC says it will soon be organizing a nationwide Automotive Design Competition to engage and promote the incredible creative and innovative talents of our youth.
According to the Council, the plan is “Not to design sports and luxury cars, but to conceptualize highly advanced, innovative and cost-effective strategically positioned market driven concepts that would be produced in Nigeria.
NADDC will support the development of winning concepts and integrate local content, feeding directly into the Nigerian automotive ecosystem, especially our proposed Automotive Industrial Clusters for Nnewi, Kaduna and Oshogbo”.
It added that, “Automotive Design goes beyond beautiful shapes, it is about the strategic conceptualization and development of applicable transportation solutions that will enable survival and economic growth. NADDC is working with industry professionals and stakeholders, and will soon be the Automotive Design Competition.
Already, a Local Organizing Committee has been inaugurated to chart the pathway towards this proposed competition.