… says Nigerians Deserve More Than Used Vehicles

DUBAI- By Emmanuel Elebeke

World-renowned genius and Director General of Nigerian Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC,Mr. Jenalis Aliyu says his agency is working with credible Original Equipment and Manufacturers, OEMs in the country to launch affordable and durable made-in-Nigeria vehicles soon.

Aliyu disclosed this in a chat with Vanguard at the ongoing Gulf International Technology Exhibition, GITEX 2019 holding in Dubai, UAE.

He said the idea behind the proposed made-in-Nigerian vehicles is to offer average Nigerians the rare opportunity to drive brand new cars at a cost-effective price instead of being forced to buy used vehicles with little or no pleasure.

He explained that the agency since the implementation of the National Automotive Investment Plan, NAIP, some of the popular OEMs companies have come back to Nigeria like Peugeot and Volkswagen which he said had also signed an MOU to come back.

‘‘Instead of being forced to buy used vehicles, in Investment Promotion, we are working with relevant and very credible OEMs to encourage and support them to come into Nigeria. Recalled in the 70s and 80s Nigeria was producing 140,000 vehicles per year but the economy went down because the price of crude oil crashed in 1986, which affected the industry.

‘‘Since the implementation of the National Automotive Investment Plan, NAIP, some of these companies have come back, Peugeot. Just recently we signed an MOU with Volkswagen to come back into Nigeria. They will create thousands of direct jobs and tens of thousands of indirect jobs.

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‘‘Recently Honda did its 40 years anniversary in Nigeria and last year they introduced a brand new HRV Honda which was assembled in Ota, Ogun State. And to prove that the car is good for Nigeria it was driven from Ota to Abuja.’’

In terms of infrastructure, he said the agency has three locations where it is working on: Kaduna, Osobo and Nnewi, where they are working with stakeholders soon to start the construction of automotive industrial parks in all the locations with all the necessary infrastructure, electricity, water and connectivity.

‘‘Today we discussed with a company who could probably be offtake to come in and set up shop in one of those locations.’’

On standards, the NAIPC boss said the agency is also about setting up a regulatory standard for the Nigerian automotive industry. ‘‘We are about 85% completion of the testing centre. In Zaria we will be testing material that will go into automotive production, in Enugu, we will be testing components that will go into vehicles, and in Lagos, we have emission lab that will test emissions.

‘‘By the time these centres are online, any vehicle or component sold in Nigeria would have had to be tested, certified and given the approval, and otherwise, it would be illegal to have that in Nigeria.’’

On skill development, Aliyu explained that over 3,200 youths were trained last year and more this year on automotive engineering. A scheme he said would be sustained to make the youths understand new automotive technology.

‘‘Some of the things we are doing we have started the design development of what we call an Ambulance that can reach any location in Nigeria because 50% of the population live in the remote areas. We are looking at vehicles that can take medicines to these people in need.

‘‘We have also started the design development of Nigerian vehicle. We want to replicate Henry Ford who at the beginning of this century introduced the vehicle that put America on wheels. Before then very few people could afford vehicles.’’

On Funding, he stated that the agency is about solving the challenge for working with a number of banks and also have gotten strong support from CBN and the federal ministry of finance which has shown interest in doing this through auto finance scheme.


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