[dropcap]S[/dropcap]tallion NMN, manufacturers and distributors of Nissan vehicles in Nigeria has warned of impending stagnation in the country’s evolving automotive sector unless the Federal Government wholly implements the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) and give deserving operators the latitude to function optimally.
Nissan Nigeria Regional Project Director, Mr. Sorin Profir gave this advice in Lagos at a media engagement to acquaint local automobile journalists with Nissan’s achievement since 2014 and her successive plan of action.
Profir, who enjoined the Federal Government to urgently embrace the automotive industry as a viable alternative to oil that is already drably priced said: “the automotive industry is a catalyst of growth in most global economies and we can’t continue to depend on oil – reason why we should explore the inherent opportunities in automotive manufacturing.”
He advised the government to immediately implement the auto policy document; restrict gratuitous importation of vehicles that can be locally manufactured and encourage the establishment of more ancillary industries such as tyre, battery and glass companies to accelerate the inclusion of substantial local contents.
He said it was time Nigeria got its policy direction right, the Nissan regional director said, adding “on no account should the policy document be allowed to be circumvented or discarded for gratuitous reasons as many stakeholders are only waiting for policy direction to enable them kick-start their operations.”
Also commenting on the implication of the automotive policy since inception, Stallion Nissan Nigeria Motors Plant Head, Mr. Prakash Karat said “the plant hasn’t been stretched to its installed capacity since it began operation in April 2014 but we have produced only 3,050 units of four variants of Nissan vehicles including Nissan Patrol, Almera, NP300 Pick-up trucks and NV350 commuter bus.
Stallion Nissan Motors Nigeria plant was inaugurated in April 2014 with three fully equipped assembly lines for SKD (Semi-knocked-down) components and an annual installed capacity for 15, 000 vehicles but could only produce 3,050 vehicles as of June 2015.
The Stallion NMN vehicle plant like all other conventional manufacturing concerns is driven by the principle of supply and demand and cannot carry inventory beyond particular level, Karat explained, saying we work according to marketing requirement.
Also, as consequence of the current parlous state of the economy, Karat said: “the Nissan vehicle plant has shrunk its work force to 85 from 131 at inception, but such workers could be recalled soon as the economic downturn improves,” he said.
He enjoined customers to be assured of the quality and standard of vehicles produced at the Nissan plant which according to him compares to similar products manufactured overseas.
“We are continuing to train and retrain our service technicians in Nissan ever growing technological advancement and acquaint them extensively in Nissan’s always-changing technology. I am therefore proud to say we have some of the best technicians yet.”
The Nissan plant head, who took the auto media on a guided tour of the plant at Volkswagen Estate along Lagos-Badagry Expressway said plans are underway to transform Nissan Motors assembly plant from SKD II to a CKD tooling plant.
Lagos NARTO Elects Exco
The Lagos state branch of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has elected a new executive to pilot its affairs for the next four years. Those elected at an election held at its Ijora office include-Alhaji Sikiru Kaka-Chairman; and Chief Kayode Odunowo-Deputy Chairman;
Others elected were Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa-Vice Chairman (Dry Cargo); Mr. Samuel Kalejaiye-Vice Chairman (Wet Cargo); Rev. Michael Safe-Vice Chairman (Commuter Service); Alhaji Kamaru Oniyide-Treasurer; Pastor Segun Omole-Financial Secretary; Mr. Kamaru Rufai-Public Relations