Investors in Nigeria’s auto sector are gravely concerned that the federal government has not paid enough attention to the market, considering its unique position to grow the nation’s GDP and employment creation.
This was a vital consensus reached by stakeholders at the Lagos Motor Show, which ends today. The 14th Lagos Motor Fair and eight Autoparts Expo Africa and first Nigeria Motorcycle and Tricycle Expo in Lagos, which opened on Wednesday, will come to an end today.
They are worried that the federal government has not paid enough attention to the implementing the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), and that this neglect was slowing down the nation’s development.
According to them, the policy should be reviews to make it result-oriented, taking into consideration the realities of the nation.
The review of the policy was in order, according to the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu, adding that the council would ensure that the plan was fully implemented.
Aliyu, represented by Deputy Director, Information and Public Relations, NADDC, Mrs. Susan Bisong-Taiwo, said “if the country does not have a policy that is passed into law, the auto policy will not achieve its goals.”
He said, “Policy somersault has become a challenge for Nigeria, which cuts across all sectors of the economy.
“There is no way the policy will exempt the auto spare parts sector, which will in turn create employment for many. The council is trying its best to ensure the policy work.”
The President of Automobile Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association, (ASPMDA) Nigeria, Offorkansi Ebubedike, represented by the Secretary, Foreign Trade and Investment Committee, ASPMDA, Leo Okoye, said: “We cannot move to greater heights without the support from government. The Federal Government through the Ministries of Technology, Trade and Investment or the National Automotive Council should come to our aid to open industrial hubs to take care of auto spare parts manufacturing for export.
“Double taxation, multiple administrative bottlenecks in our seaports, bad road network and high interest rates are the clog on our wheels of progress. Our containers are left unattended to for months accumulating huge demurrages. Government should look into these areas; solve the ailing problems to pave way for our positive contribution in the economy.”
He said, “Chinese visitors entering Nigeria found it easy on the grounds that when they purchase their flight tickets, they flew into our borders to get visas at less than $150.00. But on our part, the Chinese Consular denies and frustrates Nigerians in the issuance of travel visas.”
The development according to him has made some of its importers to start engaging exporters from Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia, who are willing to issue travel visas.
He urged the Chinese Government to reciprocate the good gestures offered to them by the Nigerian Government relating to the issue.
Chairman, Organising Committee of the Fair, Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, said this edition is holding despite all odds, to ensure that the automotive sector of Nigerian remains in the front burner of economic discuss in Nigeria.
Agwu who is also the Managing Director BKG Exhibitions Limited, said the expo is informed by its resolve to use the platform to champion the development and thriving of Nigeria’s automotive industry to fast-track her socio-economic development.
“The sector is very important as it shows physically the state of the economy and it generates much revenue and creates enormous employment. No serious government toys with it. It is a sector that affects virtually everything. If it is not rightly re-positioned now it will in the very near future negatively affect a whole lot in the life of the people and economy. Government should therefore parley seriously with the sector stakeholders to seeing how it could be made better.
“There is an urgent need for all the stakeholders to close ranks and pursue the development of the sector with more focus and dedication. They need to ensure unity of purpose and always utilize every window of opportunity such as this, to draw the attention of policy makers and implementers to the challenges in the sector. In unison the stakeholders can put the issues of the sector in the front burners of economic discuss and policy in the country and ensure that it does not collapse.”