The Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu has met with key Japanese automotive manufacturers in Tokyo, Yokohama, Hamamatsu and Iwata, Japan (Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mistsubushi, Isuzu, Suzuki and Yamaha.
The meeting, which was aimed for larger investments to produce more vehicles, came at a time when the need for diversification in Nigeria is paramount to the country’s economy as the population continues to grow, and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is also opening up Africa-wide opportunities for Nigerian Automotive manufacturers.
On the trip which span four days from August 1st to 4th, Aliyu was at the meetings with the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Husaini Moriki and Chairman, House Committee on Industry, Dr Enitan Badru.
The discussions focused on achieving bigger investments by these international companies to set up mega production and assembly plants in Nigeria.
According to Aliyu, the discussions with the companies were very fruitful, with strong potential for the various manufacturers to significantly increase their operations and market footprint in Nigeria and contribute at an even higher level to the growth and sustainability of the Nigerian Automotive space.
Aliyu mentioned that the NADDC has engaged international firm, KPMG to support it in the review process of the Auto Policy so as to develop it with more efficacy with regards to the current pattern of global and regional automotive production and distribution. KPMG is getting good support from the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM).
“As soon as the draft policy is done by KPMG, it shall go as an executive bill to the National Assembly. The Senate and House Committees on Industry are giving their full support towards having this reviewed policy be backed by a legal framework,” the NADDC boss said.
Aliyu highlighted some of the draft key areas of the reviewed policy, aimed at further boosting the financial advantages of local production/assembly: clear import duty differential between locally assembled vehicles and those imported fully built, tax waivers, dedicated customs corridors/services, provision of single digit capital financing for both manufacturers and buyers, mandatory government patronage, all in favour of local production/assembly.
Aliyu added that the meeting gave opportunity to get input from the multinational corporations so that the reviewed Auto Policy would clearly address concerns and requirements to make Nigeria a viable destination for investment as per the modern pattern of global Automotive production, components sourcing and finished product distribution.
The Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Husaini Moriki urged the Japanese companies to identify areas of focus that the companies would like the Nigerian government to intervene in for an even better business environment, especially now that the NAIDP and the Auto Policy are being reviewed by the NADDC.
The Ambassador further commended the Director General on reviving the Nigerian Automotive industry and urged the Japanese companies to collaborate with the NADDC in training and upskilling of Nigerian youth at the 18 Automotive Training Centers built by the agency across the country, using state of the art training equipment and modules.
The Chairman, House committee on Industry, Dr. Enitan Badru discussed the importance of legislative support to the new Auto Policy, so that it gives the investors the confidence and stability to invest in Nigeria. He also stressed on the importance of the vehicle finance scheme towards the purchase of those locally produced vehicles.
Some of the companies, including Honda West Africa, Nissan/Stallion, Toyota/Elizade, Mitsubishi/CFAO, Suzuki/Boulos, Isuzu/Kewalrams and Yamaha/CFAO, are already assembling vehicles in Nigeria as a result of the implementation of the NAIDP, the National Automotive Industry Development Plan, by the NADDC.