Government stakeholders seek backward integration, begin review of NAIDP implementation
In a move described as overdue by stakeholders in the automotive industry in Nigeria, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, on Monday, began a review to fine-tune the implementation of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP)
Speaking at a stakeholder’s forum in Lagos to set implementation agenda for the policy, experts said the plan, which came into effect in 2013 as part of the industrial revolution attempt introduced by the previous administration, could only yield meaningful result if government addresses key sector challenges.
According to them, efforts must be concentrated on backward integration, creating sustainable finance options for automakers and buyers and stemming importation of second hand vehicles into the country.
Raising the alarm that the policy may be heading for doom if government do not act fast, the experts, said that a lot of investments and efforts have been put into the plan, stressing that return on the investments may also remain a mirage.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, at the event, said government would not reverse the policy, adding that the current attempt was to evaluate and improve the plan for maximum results.
Restating government’s commitment to implement the policy, Enelamah said the present administration would create enabling environment, which would give incentives to complement efforts of the stakeholders.
He said: “We want to understand and evaluate how far we have gone. The policy was done in 2013 and we have gone through some experience and that is why we have the stakeholder’s forum so that people can share their experience and tell us what is working, what needs to be improved upon and what needs to be done to help us get the full benefits of the policy.
“The whole essence of the plan is to foster backward integration and local content utilisation in vehicle assembling, which will in turn create jobs for our productive youths. The government will create enabling environment for the plan to work”
Stressing the need for the forum, the minister said that “there is need to continuously engage with stakeholders and this is the main reason for this forum.”
Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Aminu Jalal said that government decided to look at the implementation of the policy holistically to achieve national development.
He said the sector is currently building vehicle volume to attract local content builders into the country, noting essence of the policy was to develop local content in the country.
Chairman, Nigeria Automotive Manufacturers Association and Managing Director, VON Automobile Nigeria, Tokunbo Aromolaran, speaking during a panel session at the event, said the plan must be twisted to add to national development.
Aromolaran said that government must strongly seek inclusion of backward integration, create stable environment and legislation that would support the policy sustainably.
Also speaking, Managing Director, Toyota Nigeria Ltd, Kunle Ade-ojo, said with the prevailing situation, though the automakers have investment huge amount of money into the initiative, return on investment may not be feasible in the near future.
Stating that deveolopment of local content must guide government decision, Adeojo said: “The automobile industry is still grappling with a lot of challenges like poor maintenance culture, inadequate incentives for local manufacturers and assemblers and a generally unfavourable environment to grow”.
President of Coscharis Group, Cosmas Maduka, noted that government must ban importation second hand vehicle to boost new car market in the country.
He urged government to put in place financial scheme that would assist local manufacturers and end users, noting that “if government put the enabling environment in place to assist the local manufacturers, foreign investors can come in”.
Managing Director, PAN Nigeria Ltd, Ibrahim Boyi, stated the country must look for a way to produce quality vehicles that could compete globally and still be affordable.
“The question is that how we can make this policy sustainable even with successive governments and also enforce quality assurance,” he said said.