By Willie Samson
The Federal Government has been advised to give special attention to the nation’s auto sector, which can be used to salvage the economy.
Chairman of BKG Exhibitions, Mr Ifeanyi Agwu gave this advice while announcing the date for this year’s annual Lagos International Motor Fair scheduled to hold from June 28 to July 3, 2021 at Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.
According to Agwu, the Federal Government should focus on how to ensure that the auto industry is given the special attention it requires so as to use it in driving the government’s economic diversification policy, given the enormous multiplier effects the sector has on economies where it thrives.
According to him, “Government should no longer delay in having a law to back the automotive industry development policy that would be strictly implemented.”
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He explained that such would fast-track the country’s push to become an automotive manufacturer and a hub of its businesses in Africa, bearing in mind ”the natural endowment and other comparative advantages the nation has in the sector.”
Agwu added: ”The sector is very important as it shows physically the state of the economy and generates much revenue and creates enormous employment. No serious government toys with its auto sector given its importance.”
According to him; “Auto sector was one of the key sectors that received bail-out from the diverse developed economies during the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic which in no small measure, helped to resuscitate their economies.
”It is a sector that drives the economy if it is badly affected, other sectors suffer. It is the artery of the economy, so government should parley seriously with the stakeholders to see how it could be made better.”
On his plans for this
He noted that it is in furtherance of the determination of the organisers to annually use the platform of the event to bring together major indigenous and global players in the automotive business to showcase capabilities and potentials especially as it pertains to Nigeria.
This, according to him, is to help in fast-tracking the development of Nigeria’s automotive industry.
“In our mission and vision of making the event a world-class global auto fair and to mark the 15 years of the fair, we have packaged this edition to hold indoors.
“In fact, starting from this 15th edition, the event will be hosted indoors. This is aimed at adding more glamour and aesthetics as well as protect products, exhibitors and visitors from harsh weather conditions.
“Organising the event has been very challenging. We are always striving to ensure that it becomes a key event in the sector which could enhance its rapid development as we use it annually to draw the necessary attention from both the public and private sectors.
“Government should increase support in all ramifications to the automobile companies operating in the country. It is a sector that affects virtually everything.”
It occupies a prime position in the economy. If it is not done now it will in the very near future affect a whole lot in the life of the people and economy.
The challenges of hosting this event are becoming higher but our drive-in continuing is that the sector must not be allowed to die.