Automotive sector

Nigerian auto sector in dire straits, chairman of LCCI Auto Group – The Sun Nigeria

By Moses Akaigwe

The CFAO Motors Deputy Managing Director, Kunle Jaiyesimi, on Friday reviewed the current state of the Nigerian automotive sector, concluding that it is in dire straits and needs urgent intervention to put it on the path to recovery. reprise.

Jaiyesimi was speaking at the 7th Annual Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) Training/Capacity Building Workshop in Lagos on the theme: “Accelerating the Auto Industry Recovery Strategy in post-COVID-19 era”.

According to the Deputy Managing Director, CFAO, which owns an assembly plant, is not immune to the catalog of woes that beset the industry, despite their efforts to keep the industry afloat.

Jaiyesimi, who is also chairman of the Auto & Allied sub-group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said CFAO has also felt the impact of the current economic situation, but has decided not to not lay off their workers.

Instead, he said, the company converted assembly workers into after-sales staff.

He urged automotive journalists to carry out independent investigations into the state of the local automotive industry with a view to producing informed reports on the challenges facing the sector and drawing attention to them.

Spotting holes in the implementation of the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) which began in 2014 to revitalize the industry, Jaiyesimi noted that the impact has not been felt.

He remarked: “When the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) came up with the policy, we had it in phases; it starts with semi knocked down, SKD1 SKD2 and SKD3.

“It was expected that after five years we would have migrated to CKD. In 2014, we should have been in CKD, but we are still in SKD in 2022”.

“Can we even talk about manufacturing tires today? Tire manufacturers in Nigeria have migrated to Ghana and I don’t blame them. It is unthinkable that after many years no progress has been made. Ghana took our car policy that we gave them and they worked on it.

“Today, automotive giants like to invest in Ghana rather than Nigeria because of the business-friendly environment there. These foreign firms learn from local operators.

He called for more serious attention to vehicle production in Nigeria, adding that. Ghana now has an advantage over Nigeria. According to him, this is because as things turn out, it will come to a point where the neighboring country will produce and bring its vehicles across the border into Nigeria, “and that will be the end of our automobile. {Nigeria} industry.”

This year’s training was sponsored by Weststar Associates, franchisees of the Mercedes-Benz brand; Stallion Motors, which represents the Nissan, Hyundai, Porsche, MG and Changan brands; Toyota Nigeria Limited; and CFAO Motor, distributors of the Mitsubishi and Suzuki brands in the country.

Other presenters at this year’s workshop included Dr. Oscar O. Odiboh, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State; and Kunle Bamidele, Chief Technology Officer, Pro-ICE Ltd.

Also present at the event were representatives from stakeholders including the Federal Safety Corps (FRSC), NADDC, Weststar Associates, Stallion Motors and CFAO, among others.

NAJA, with Mike Ochonma as the current chairman, is the umbrella body for Nigerian motoring journalists that cuts across print and online publications.

The training is an annual event, organized to refresh the skills of participating journalists on trends in automotive journalism around the world.