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Demand shortfall, poor financing hobble automotive policy

By Benjamin Alade
04 March 2022   |   4:15 am
Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu, has said Nigeria's automotive sector is worth 400,000 vehicles assembling capacity a year....

Director-General of NADDC, Jelani Aliyu. Photo; TWITTER/NADDCCOUNCIL

•Over 400,000 vehicles capacity underutilised

Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu, has said Nigeria’s automotive sector is worth 400,000 vehicles assembling capacity a year, but for the challenges of demand and finance to optimise the potential.

Aliyu, who spoke virtually at the maiden edition of the Autocheck summit in Lagos, said the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) was deployed to revive vehicle manufacturing and components of parts, but without achieving the desired objectives yet.

He said: “As we speak, over N1 billion has been invested since 2019. Types of vehicles that are assembled in Nigeria are not petrol specification alone but gas-powered and electric driven vehicles. The lack of infrastructure and electricity contributes to the challenges of the sector.”

Chairman, Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria (AMDON), Ajibola Adedoyin, said there are lots of opportunities in the automotive sector given its centrality to other sectors and the economy.

However, “it is sad to note that we don’t want to face reality in this country. We know we can manufacture a new vehicle but we assemble the same, which is expensive. If our capacity is to build tricycles, let us concentrate on that.”

Earlier in his remarks, Chief Executive Officer of Autochek, Etop Ikpe, said various stakeholders had been working in silos in the past and that the automotive sector needs a multi-layered approach to financing to reach its full potential in Nigeria and across the continent.

Ikpe emphasised that financing is critical for the auto ecosystem as it plays a critical role in alleviating transportation poverty and impacting the whole value chain including dealers, workshops, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and ultimately the consumer.

He also stressed the need for consumer education on how to responsibly access credit and make the most of the financing solutions available to them, as well as other related services.

With operations across West and East Africa and a partner-led retail footprint in over 1000 dealer and workshop partner locations, Autochek is committed to building solutions to enhance commerce and synergy between the different stakeholders in Africa’s automotive sector. Its products and services include, facilitating access to auto loans, quality maintenance/after sales services, warranty solutions and transactional marketplaces.

SVP West Africa, Mayokun Fadeyibi, said the firm was building the infrastructure to make car ownership more accessible and affordable to more Africans and this event has brought together key stakeholders to engage in the necessary conversations to drive growth and opportunities across Africa’s automotive sector.

Chief Operating Officer, Autochek, Timi Tope Ologunoye, said the sector has not been able to realise its potential because all players were playing independently.

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