By Theodore Opara
All is now set for this year’s edition of the annual Nigerian Auto Journalists Association’s (NAJA) capacity building programme with Nissan Motors South Africa, with local presence as the lead sponsor. The event takes place at the Golden Tulip Hotel & Events Centre, along airport road, Ikeja Lagos on July 26, 2018.
It would be recalled that the annual training programme which aims to refresh and enrich the wealth of experience of the motoring journalists’ reportorial skills in the country was sponsored by Ford Motors Company South Africa (FMCSA) in 2016 and 2017 under its Driving Skill For Life (DSFL) programme. Coscharis Motors is the representative of Ford in Nigeria.
Industry stakeholders supporting the annual programme for this year includes Nigeria Automotive Design & Development Council (NADDC), Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC), Toyota Nigeria Limited, Weststar Associates Nigeria Limited, owners of the Mercedes franchise, Massillia Motors (Mitsubishi), PAN Nigeria Limited (Peugeot) and the Infinity group (Pirelli, Good Year etc) among others.
In a press statement issued by Mike Ochonma, vice-president of Nigerian Auto Journalists Association and head of organising committee, disclosed that, the major highlights of the day will be the presentation of relevant automotive industry related papers by some experienced stakeholders in automotive engineering.
During the programme, Aliyu Jelani, director-general, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) will deliver a paper on ‘’Achieving The 2013-2023 Nigeria Automotive Industrial Development Plan (NAIDP)” under President Muhammadu Buhari, How Realistic?, while Kunle Ade-Ojo, managing director/chief executive of Toyota Nigeria Limited will present a paper on ‘’Achieving full life span of your engine” and ‘’Achieving maximum benefit from your car air-conditioned system. Another paper of the day on Tyre Specification & Nigeria Experience” will be presented by Boboye Oyeyemi, Corp Marshal of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, (FRSC).
Speaking on the rationale behind the support from Nissan, Parvir Singh, managing director of Stallion NMN in Nigeria says, the sponsorship is a strategic partnership for Nissan, where training and skills development form part of the organisational ethos.
In his words, “The most important thing to understand about Africa is that it’s not one country. At Nissan, we’ve learned how important it is to build relationships with customers. Nigeria is important for us because it’s a significant market and it has a large population poised for growth in motorisation.
“Skills development is one of Nissan’s core strengths and is fundamental to how we continuously improve our business. We do not only look at improving as an organisation but place great emphasis on training and capacity building for our stakeholders. it is with this very purpose in mind that we are supporting the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association’’.
According to Frank Kintum, chairman of NAJA, the training offers automotive journalists in Nigeria the opportunity to improve their knowledge about the industry the report, as well as provide a platform for exchange of ideas between the industry players and the journalists.
Mike Ochonma, head of the organising committee stated that, this year’s capacity building and training programme is very timely at a time when the cost of purchasing brand new vehicles and even used ones and cost of spare parts and vehicle maintenance costs are very expensive.