‘How commercial vehicles can thrive in Nigeria’
Stakeholders in the haulage and logistics business have stressed the need for government to improve on road infrastructure across the country to enable the sector achieve return on investment.
The stakeholders who decried the spate of deplorable roads in Nigeria, said millions of naira had been lost due to bad roads, which they described as a major setback for the industry.
They appealed to Federal Government to accelerate efforts in building sustainable railway system that will help transport goods and services across the country.
The stakeholders who spoke at the introduction of light commercial vehicles by Stallion Motors and Ashok Leyland in Lagos, said for such vehicles to thrive in Nigeria, government especially the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) needs to work on the standards of the products manufactured in the country.
Ismail Odunlami, a transport operator, said one of the critical problem faced by stakeholders in the logistics business is the inconsistent government policies. He said state government needs to synergize with transport owners, especially the organized private sector to drive an inclusive policy that would boost the sector.
Speaking at the event, Chief Executive Officer, Stallion Group, Anant Badjatya, said the automotive sector in Nigeria is nothing to write home about as smuggling of vehicles is still rampant.
Badjatya said there is a lot of smuggling happening. 600,000 cars are being smuggled across the border every year. “That’s where, you know, that there is a job loss. That’s a revenue loss for the country. All the neighboring countries are making money on Nigeria. They are actually making the business plans based on smuggling into this country.”
He reiterated that the launch of the light commercial vehicles from Ashok Leyland adds to the range and shows the company’s renewed commitment towards bringing tough dependable and durable vehicles for logistics use in affordable range to the Nigerian customers.
According to him, the company has sales and service outlets in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan and Port Harcourt and has invested in a state-of-the-art central auto parts and service center at Orile Lagos to support the distribution of genuine parts across the nation for the upkeep of these vehicles.
He said Stallion is a household name in Nigeria; it owns 45 per cent of the new car business. It is undoubtedly one of the strongest players in the commercial vehicle segment by the virtue of its vast distribution network. The exclusive national partnership with Ashok Leyland has evolved with time to bring the best in class products and services to the Nigerian consumer. These commercial vehicles are assembled locally and are best engineered for the road severity in Nigeria.
Commenting on the launch, Zonal Head, Ashok Leyland Africa, Mr. O Satishan, said: “Nigeria is an important African market for Ashok Leyland. The new range of Fully Built trucks will sport contemporary design, a new-generation platform and will offer best-in-class efficiency, performance, and comfort. Reinforcing our brand promise of ‘Aapki Jeet, Hamari Jeet’ we are offering two products that will provide the best Total Cost of Ownership to our customers.”
The key attributes of Partner are: vehicle performance, customer profitability and driver comfort. Packed with superior mileage, load carrying ability, stability and maneuverability, the Partner helps run the business with a better return on investment.
The BOSS offers class-leading comfort that sets the benchmark in the commercial vehicle industry. The dashboard is ergonomically designed with the controls placed intelligently. The vehicle comes with multi-angle adjustable seats. The steering column comes with tilt-able and telescopic movements, while the 2-point suspended cabin offers comfort and convenience.
“Our aim in the international markets is to add more products to our portfolio and offer innovative and comprehensive solution to our global customers. Experience a new class of LHD vehicles from Ashok Leyland,” Satishan added.