By Frank Kintum
Just about one month after assuming duties as the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Joseph Osanipin, has led the Council to take a bold step by organising a stakeholders meeting in Lagos.
Stakeholders who graced the event from across the country, cut across Nigeria Automobile Manufacturers Association(NAMA), Motorcycle Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), G.M Motors, Lafbart, Anammco, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, Proforce, JET Motors, Mikano Motors, Nord Motors, Stallion, and Lanre Shittu Motors.
Others are Perfection Motors, Toyota Nig. Ltd, Honda, CIG Motors, Dangote Sinotruck, Coscharis Motors, GAC, Kewalram, Dana Motors, VON Auto, NTM, CFAO, etc.
The stakeholders discussed on how to accelerate ongoing legislative process on auto industry investment as well as taking advantage of opportunities offered by African Continental Free Trade Area for the Nigeria’s auto industry development.
L-R: Chairman, Nigerian Automobile Manufacturers Association, Mr. Bawo Omagbitse; DG of NADDC, Mr. Joseph Osanipin; and former Acting DG of the NADDC, Mr. Luqman Mamudu
They however lamented that the prolonged delay in the enactment of the auto industry act was holding back the development of the sector.
Speaking at the event virtually from Abuja, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, said she is ready to work with stakeholders and the NADDC to move the industry forward, regretting however that some players in the industry lack effective after-sales back up for their products.
According to her, assembling locally made vehicles is one thing, but providing effective after-sales facility is also very essential in ensuring continues patronage and making the industry grow.
She said “the auto Industry is key to achieving economic diversification, and this is in line with the mandate of the ministry to ensure full diversification and full industrialisation of the economy”.
On his part, the Director General of the NADDC, Joseph Osanipin, urged all local auto assemblers to come together to build a formidable industry in line with the mandate of the National Automotive Design and Development Council NADDC.
The National Automotive Industry Development Plan, (NAIDP) took the centre stage of the extensive deliberations as all stakeholders stressed on the need for legislative endorsement of the policy to ensure its sustained functionality and proper implementation.
Osanipin stated that the NAIDP is a critical pillar of the government’s effort to transform the automotive sector and position it as a key driver of economic growth and job creation.
He stated that “The plan is designed to address the key challenges facing the sector such as low production level, insufficient local content and limited access to financing”.
Osanipin maintained that the NAIDP 2023 is a comprehensive and ambitious plan that seeks to align local policies with AfCTA in such a manner that would allow the industry to compete favourably on the continental and eventually global level.
He said the policy would ensure sustainability and environmental responsibility as it offers incentives in the area of CNG and Electric – Powered vehicles.
Reacting during the interactive session, the chairman of Nigerian Automobile Manufacturers Association (NAMA), Mr. Bawo Omagbitse on behalf of the stakeholders expressed their appreciation to NADDC for putting up the forum.
He reiterated the eagerness of NAMA to work closely with NADDC and other relevant authorities for proper implementation of the Auto Policy, adding that NAMA would develop internal guidance system to ensure the members operate in accordance with the rules and regulations provided in the NAIDP document.
The NAIDP Stakeholders meeting was put together by the Council to address the challenges and harness the prospects for effective implementation of the 2023 Auto Policy. It is expected that the fall out of the forum would result in a more vibrant and sustainable automotive industry in Nigeria.