Over the years, the Nigerian automotive industry has been facing significant challenges, such as low production levels and limited utilisation of local products, ultimately hindering its growth. To address these concerns, stakeholders have emphasised the need for the implementation of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) as a means to stimulate progress. This recommendation emerged during an interactive session held in Lagos, where industry representatives engaged with the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC).
During the extensive discussions, the focus was mainly on NAIDP, as all those involved emphasised the importance of obtaining legislative support for the policy. This support is crucial in order to ensure that the policy remains effective and is implemented correctly. Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Arite, who is the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, joined the conversation through Zoom and encouraged participants to aim for the forum’s initiative to promote the nation to a prominent position in global manufacturing.
Auto industry plays a crucial role in the country’s economy.
She explained that the ministry aims to achieve complete diversification and industrialisation of the economy, and the auto industry plays a crucial role in this endeavour. She assured them to actively engage with various economic stakeholders to mitigate the challenges faced by businesses, foster market entry, and enable homegrown manufacturers to seize and reap the advantages presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA). This primarily focuses on facilitating the export of their goods within this trade framework.
Similarly, Joseph Osanipin, the director general of NADDC, earlier stated that the government’s endeavour to revolutionise the automotive industry and establish it as a prominent catalyst for economic progress and employment is reliant upon the NAIDP, which is regarded as a crucial foundation. As outlined by him, this comprehensive scheme has been meticulously crafted to tackle the prevailing obstacles that impede sector growth, including inadequate production capacity, insufficient incorporation of local components, and limited availability of financial resources.
Competitiveness will be ensured to propel the sector on a global scale.
According to Osanipin, the NAIDP 2023 is an extensive and important scheme that aims to synchronise regional regulations with the AfCTA in a way that enables the industry to effectively rival competitors at both a continental and worldwide scale. Speaking further, he emphasised that this policy is committed not only to ensuring competitiveness but also to focusing on sustainability and environmental obligations by providing incentives for the development of compressed natural gas (CNG) and electric-powered vehicles.
During the interactive session, Bawo Omagbitse, the Nigerian Automobile Manufacturers Association (NAMA) chairman, conveyed gratitude to NADDC on behalf of the stakeholders for organising this forum. Their reaction during this interactive session demonstrated their appreciation for the efforts put forth by NADDC. He expressed the readiness of the Automobile Manufacturers Association to collaborate closely with NADDC and other pertinent entities in order to carry out the Auto Policy effectively. He further mentioned that NAMA intends to establish an internal framework to ensure the adherence of its members to the rules and regulations outlined in the NAIDP document.
Obstacles will be tackled while capitalising on the Policy opportunities.
The Council organised the NAIDP Stakeholders Meeting with the aim of tackling the obstacles and capitalising on the opportunities for the successful execution of the 2023 Auto Policy. Anticipate that the outcomes of this gathering will lead to a thriving and enduring automotive sector in Nigeria. The primary goal of the NADDC arranged meeting was to establish Nigeria as a prominent nation in the automotive manufacturing sector. Furthermore, the meeting aimed to foster collaborative thinking among participants to devise effective strategies for promoting the industry.