Stakeholders chart path to deepen local automotive potential
Stakeholders in the automotive sector have charted a path to deepen local automotive capacity as part of measures at reviving the industry.
Speaking at the third West Africa Automotive Show (WAAS) in Lagos, they said the sector accounts for a share of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with a yearly output of over $2 trillion.
Former Director General of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Aminu Jalal, said the total installed capacity of the country is over 350,000 units, while the vehicle market in Nigeria is about 400,000 units yearly, but over 300,000 is met by used-vehicles import, with the local industry supplying the balance.
He said the full implementation of the automotive policy provisions could reverse these trends.
Jalal said the Nigerian automotive Industry is over 50 years old and had its heyday in 1975-1985. The factors that led to its decline were enormous. Because of its importance, the government started with a new policy in 2013, but its provisions were not strictly adhered to. This policy was reviewed last week.
He said to achieve the objectives of the revised policy; its incentives and tariffs should be legislated.
Managing Director Nigeria Foundries Group, Vassily Oye Barberopoulos, said additive manufacturing is undeniably on the rise in the automotive industry, with the total automotive additive manufacturing market targeting $12.614 million in 2028.
Barberopoulos said for customisation, assembly plants can utilise 3D laser scanning to obtain precise dimensions and features of individual vehicles.
He said through the creation of digital models, customised parts or accessories can be designed and 3D printed, providing unique and personalised products tailored to meet specific customer requirements.
He said 3D scanning helps automakers stand out in the highly competitive automotive manufacturing market.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Pakia Greengold Limited, Reuben Kifasi, said the West Africa automotive policy and the ease of doing business in Nigeria are crucial factors that could boost the growth and development of the automotive sector in the region. While significant steps have been taken to implement the West African automotive policy, there are still challenges to be addressed.
Kifasi, who is a former director at the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said despite significant progress made in improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria, there are still areas that require attention.
He said to fully realise the potential of the automotive industry and boost economic growth, the governments in West Africa must continue to create an enabling environment and implement policies that support the growth and development of the sector.
Director General, NADDC, Jelani Aliyu, explained that the recently approved Nigeria Automotive Policy would provide a better operating environment for auto industry players in the country and engender the industry’s growth.
According to the Director General, who was represented at the event by a Deputy Director of the Council, Segun Omisore, the Federal Government has recently approved the new auto policy 2023 to 2033. The objectives of the new policy include, among others, to provide a legal framework for the development of a competitive and sustainable automotive industry in Nigeria.
Jelani also noted that the new automotive policy will “position Nigeria’s automotive ecosystem as a leading centre for automotive production in Africa.”
President, Auto Spare Parts, and Machinery Dealers Association (ASPMDA), Ngozi Emechebe, said the trade organisation is highly profound in the automotive sector with quality spare parts being sold in the country.
While reiterating the association’s support for the programme, Emechebe said he would ensure the country produces what it is going overseas to source, saying most of its members face challenges of visa approvals from original equipment manufacturers’ countries.
Conference Chairman, Luqman Mamudu, said Nigeria has a robust automotive sector, but falling to achieve its full potential.
Mamudu said there are investors in the sector that are global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in Nigeria, who have collaborated with entrepreneurs to establish a pipeline of investment.
He appealed to the OEMs to continue to fit both technical and mechanical resources to ensure the industry grows. Despite the constraints, industry players should be encouraged that the Federal Government has approved the revised version of Nigeria Automotive Policy, which will address all concerns.
With such submission, he said Nigeria should be referred to as the automotive hub for Africa.
He appealed to the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers’ (AAAM) team in South Africa not to give up on Nigeria to be a hub in West Africa.
Founder and Managing Director, ABC Transport, Frank Nneji, said whatever policy the government is creating must create more jobs for Nigerians.
He said if the government wants to do auto assembling, there should be incentives for manufacturers locally in Nigeria.
Managing Director, BtoB Events, Jamie Hill, said the event was strategic, especially at a point where there is transition of government.
Hill said there is a prevalence of substandard parts in Nigeria at present, and the aim of the conference is to drive towards enabling the market to transit from substandard to quality parts.