By THEODORE OPARA
WORRIED by the declining fortunes of the automobile industry in Nigeria, the Automobile and Allied Trade Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, will hold a Seminar/Symposium to address the problem.
Scheduled to hold at the Lagos Sheraton Hotels, with the theme; Generating a Road map for Revitalisation of Automobile Industry in Nigeria, the group’s chairman, Mr. Olu Tikolo stated that an expert from South Africa will deliver the main paper of the event.
The expert, Mr. Mike Whitfield, who is the managing director of Nissan South Africa, is to be supported by another Nigerian expert, Professor Okey Iheduru in an event to be chaired by the executive Chairman of Elizade Motors, Chief Michael Ade Ojo.
Tikolo said: “The reason for the seminar is to make efforts to re-examine the industry and see where the mistakes are. We have the human capital, but we do not have the technical competence.”
He added that the seminar will provide a platform for industry players and the government to come together and harness a brighter future for the industry, which according to him has the potentials to create a lot of jobs. Also expected at the event are top government functionaries and potential investors for the auto industry.
According to the chairman of the group, this seminar is one of the lifelines effort by the association.
He regretted that though the auto industry in Nigeria has the capacity to employ over 100,000 people but non of the plants are producing at one per cent installed capacity.
“We are challenged by one thing, should we continue to be an importing nation knowing that the importation is dependent on a lot of factors.
We have the human capital in terms of size but no technical competence. Power is a major issue. We have iron and steel plants that are not working, no industry clustre to produce the parts so we have decided to bring an expert from Nissan who have done it for other countries to come and assist us in this regard through the seminar.
The seminar will have sessions that will look into so many areas of the auto industry such as part, tariff, etc. He lamented that it is disheartening that we have six plants and not is working. But noted that a new day has come and we must do something to move the industry forward, adding that there is hope for the auto industry if the government has the will.