By Theodore Opara
ORGANISERS of the West Africa Automotive Show, WAAS, at the Landmark Centre, Victoria Island, B to B Events, has predicted that Nigeria will in future be the powerhouse to export locally produced vehicles.
Jamie Hill, Managing Director B to B Event stated this at the opening of the West Africa Automotive show on Wednesday. The B to B boss said, “We would like to see Nigeria export locally made vehicles in future because Nigeria is the powerhouse in Africa. The West Africa Automotive Show, a new international trade exhibition has pulled a large audience, attracting stakeholders from the regional and global automotive sector under one roof.
“The maiden event schedule for November 6 to 8 had a wide range of exhibitors from the automotive maintenance and repair sector. Car parts manufacturers, assemblers, and distributors, commercial garages, retailers, mechanics, fleet operators, and logistics companies of Nigeria and across the world besieged the event from the first day of the exhibition.
“On the first day, about 100 exhibitors from Nigeria and around the world converged in Lagos, venue of the exhibition, to forge new business ties and show off the latest developments and products in the spare parts and services sector. It was also a fertile ground for suppliers, dealers and manufacturers to discuss best practice for the industry and find out more about the developing local motor manufacturing industry.”
Speaking at the event, Jamie Hill, managing director of BtoB Events, organisers of the event said the event was put together in Nigeria because they actually believed in the Nigerian market and the opportunity it presents.”
Describing Nigeria as a market that needs to be represented by a platform such as an exhibition, Hill said “It is an opportunity to bring the stakeholders under one roof to interface and move their businesses forward.”
According to Hill, the exhibition is in line with the Federal Government’s plans to make sure that a large percentage of cars on the Nigerian roads are made in Nigeria. On what they intend to achieve with the exhibition, Hill said: “It is a perfect opportunity and it represents the local automotive industry. We want to create global recognition to the Nigerian auto parts sector be they spare parts or auto assembly because we hope a lot more manufacturers are coming up in Nigeria.”
Emphasising that WAAS marketing strategy is to target ECOWAS countries first, Hill, however, observed that Nigeria is the powerhouse for the exhibition project. He said the government was very proactive in their plans to increase the number of cars on Nigerian roads to be made in Nigeria, adding that WAAS will align themselves with the plans of the government and the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) so that they can work together. On the Nigerian market, Hill said “There is a significant value for the auto parts market in Nigeria. There is a lot of value placed in this market from the rest of the world”.
In a chat at the exhibition ground, Director, Sales and Marketing of Jet Systems Automobile Industries Limited, Sanjay Rupani stated that Jet Systems is part of the sponsorship of this year’s WAAS. Rupani said they had mutually beneficial relationship with WAAS and that they will work with WAAS on a long term bases.
On why they entered into the partnership, Rupani said: “It was necessary for us to use this platform to showcase the brand that we are trying to promote. We are proudly associating and mentioning that it is a Nigerian brand.