July 30 (THEWILL) – With what automotive industry players are currently going through, Kunle Jaiyesimi, Deputy Managing Director of CFAO Motors, says the Nigerian automotive industry is in a precarious situation and needs urgent attention.
Jaiyesimi made the revelation during a presentation at the latest 7th Edition of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) Training/Capacity Building Workshop, held on Friday, July 29, 2022, at the Center of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Conference and Exhibition. (LCCI), Alausa, Ikeja, on the theme: “Accelerating the recovery strategy of the automotive industry in the post-COVID-19 era”.
According to the deputy general manager, his company, CFAO, is not isolated from the catalog of woes that the local auto industry is going through, despite the efforts made so far to establish the sector in an enviable position.
Kunle Jaiyesimi, who is also the Chairman of the Auto & Allied sub-group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, pointed out that his company has been impacted by the current economic situation but has decided not to not extend out of their workers.
To keep the employees, he revealed that CFAO had since converted its workers from the assembly plants into after-sales personnel, in order to continue to keep them.
He therefore urged automotive journalists to carry out an independent investigation into the operation of assembly plants in the country, so that they can produce a verified report on what is happening in this region.
Spotting holes in the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), which took off in 2013 to revitalize the automotive 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; which starts with semi reversed, SKD1 SKD2 and SKD3. It was expected that after 5 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 favorable business environment there. These foreign firms obtain information from local operators.
He called for more seriousness in vehicle assembly in Nigeria adding that Ghana now has the advantage due to the way things are going it will come to a point where the country will produce and bring in its automotive products in the country and it will be the end of the Nigerian automobile industry.
Stressing that the automotive industry is very symbolic in many countries, he challenged the media to do more in the areas of investigative journalism.
This year’s training program was sponsored by Weststar Associates, franchisees of Mercedes-Benz brand, Stallion Motors with Nissan franchise, Hyundai, Porsche, MG, Changan and Audi, Toyota Nigeria Limited and CFAO Motor, franchise owners of Mitsubishi and Suzuki brands in the country. .
Key facilitators for this year’s training program included Kunle Jaiyesimi, Deputy Managing Director of CFAO Group, Oscar O. Odiboh, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State and Kunle Bamidele, Chief Technology Officer, Pro-ICE Ltd.
The training event was well attended by stakeholders including FRSC, NADDC, Weststar Associates, Stallion Motors, 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 workshop is an annual training program, organized to refresh the minds of practicing automotive journalists on the trend of automotive journalism in the world.