The Nigerian Automotive sector is in a precarious situation and needs urgent attention, Deputy Managing Director of CFAO Motors, Kunle Jaiyesimi has said.
Jaiyesimi made the submission at the 7th edition of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) training/capacity building workshop held recently in Lagos, with the theme: “Accelerating Automobile Industry Recovery Strategy In Post COVID-19 Era”.
Kunle Jaiyesimi who is also the chairman of the Auto & Allied sub-Sectoral group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry, (LCCI) pointed out that, his company has been having the impacted of the prevailing economic situation but has decided not to lay off their workers.
He, therefore, urged automotive journalists to do an independent investigation into the workings of assembly plants in the country, so that they can come up with an ascertained report about what is happening in that area.
Picking holes in the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) which took off in 2013 to revitalise the auto industry, Jaiyesimi noted that the impact has not been felt.
Lamenting the situation, he said “When the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) came up with the policy, we had it in phases; that is starting with semi-knocked down, SKD1 SKD2 and SKD3. It was expected that after 5 years, we would have migrated to CKD. By 2014, we should have been in CKD but we are still in SKD in 2022”.
“Can we even talk of manufacturing tyres today? Tyre manufacturers in Nigeria have migrated to Ghana and I don’t blame them. It is unthinkable that after many years, no headway has been made. Ghana took our auto policy which we gave them, and they worked on it.”
Today auto giants like to invest in Ghana instead of Nigeria because of the business-friendly environment there. These foreign firms get information from local operators.
He called for more serious about assembling vehicles in Nigeria adding that. Ghana has the advantage now because, with the way things are going, it will come to a point whereby the country will produce and bring its auto products down into the country and that will be the end of the Nigeria Auto industry
Stressing that the auto industry is very symbolic in a lot of countries, he challenged the media to do more in the areas of investigative journalism.
This year’s training programmes was sponsored by Weststar Associates, franchisees of Mercedes-Benz brand, Stallion Motors with Nissan, Hyundai, Porsche, MG, Changan and Audi franchise, Toyota Nigeria Limited and CFAO Motor, franchise owners of Mitsubishi and Suzuki brands in the country.
Key facilitators at this year’s training programme included Kunle Jaiyesimi, deputy managing director of CFAO group, Oscar O. Odiboh, a lecturer at the mass communication department of the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun state and Kunle Bamidele, chief technology officer, Pro-ICE Ltd.
The training event was well attended by stakeholders including the FRSC, NADDC, Weststar Associates, Stallion Motors, CFAO amongst others.