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Lagos Motor Fair organiser seeks bailout for auto sector

Announces date for 2019 Lagos Motor Show

BKG Exhibitions, organis-ers of the annual Lagos International Motor Fair & Autoparts Expo Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to urgently bail out the nation’s automotive sector because of the role it plays in the life of the people.

Managing Director of BKG, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, who made the call in his office while announcing the date for the 2019 Lagos Motor Fair and Autopart Expo said, “Government should bailout the automobile companies operating in the country. It is a sector that affects virtually everything. It occupies prime position in the economy. If this is not done now, it will, in the very near future affect a whole lot in the lives of the people and economy.”

Ifeanyichukwu Agwu,

Mr. Agwu explained that the 2019 edition which is scheduled to hold at Federal Palace Hotel, Vitoria Island from April 24 to 29 is the twelfth edition of the fair, while the Autopart Expo is the sixth edition. With the theme: ‘One Expo: Continental  Spread’ the BKG boss said that they are championing the development and thriving of autoparts sub-sector as leeway to fast-tracking the development of Nigeria’s automotive industry.

Realisable auto policy

He said, “In this edition as we have been doing for sometime now, we will champion the autoparts section with the aim of making Nigeria the hub of the business in Africa. We want to make it a strong point of real take off of a realisable auto policy.”

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The BKG boss, however, called on the Federal Government to focus more on spare parts manufacturing in place of complete vehicle assembling, stressing,.“spare parts is where the real technology transfer will take place. It involves precision and proper planning more than the coupling that takes place in assembling. This will give rise to establishment of more genuine parts by Original Equipment Manufacturers and increase employment.”

He noted that there should be a review of the ongoing auto policy to make it achieve the desired goals.

On the motor fair, he said the challenges of hosting the event were becoming higher but added that the drive in continuing it was that the sector must not be allowed to die.

Agwu added, “The sector is very important as it shows physically the state of the economy, generates much revenue and creates enormous employment. No serious government toys with a sector that is as important as the auto sector.”

He recalled that the auto sector was one of the key sectors that received bailout from the American government during the last global economic meltdown and stressed that it helped to revamp the economy. “It is a sector that drives the economy; if it is badly affected, other sectors suffers. It is the artery of the economy. Government should parley seriously with the sector stakeholders to see how it could be made better,”Mr. Agwu advised.

On how he has been able to carry on under the harsh times, he said: “Organising the event has been very challenging, we are only trying to find a way to push it as a key event in the sector.  We cannot but use the event to draw the necessary attention to the sector.”

Urging every stakeholder to endeavour to show up at the event, Mr. Agwu stated that doing so will provide an opportunity for all to show the strength and ruggedness of the players in the sector – the policy inconsistencies notwithstanding.

He explained that the Autoparts Expo segment of the event was doing well and “we are looking at involving a lot countries in west and central Africa in the edition. This, we have kick-started by extending invitations to players in the autoparts business in those countries to visit the fair. We are aiming at using the Nigerian Autoparts markets as the hub of the sector’s business in Africa.

“The intention is to make them (players from the other countries) to be buying from the Nigerian market. In no distant time, it will become a big event spreading to other countries in the continent. Nigeria has the resources and capacity to play such a role and it will be a very big disservice to Nigeria and its people if another African country does this ahead of Nigeria.”

Agwu added that in conjunction with foreign partners, “we have reached out to many of such companies and happily, the response has been tremendous and we are expecting a lot of them. Our intention in bringing them is to enable Nigerians and neighbouring West Africans engaged in auto spare parts business work out rewarding and lasting business relationships with the main companies engaged in the manufacture of auto spare parts.”

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