[dropcap]M[/dropcap]inister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, has assured Auto Manufacturers in Nigeria of government’s commitment to effectively implement the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), as part of efforts at fast-tracking Nigeria’s economic diversification goals.
The minister assured this while receiving a delegation from the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) in his office on Monday.
The AAAM delegation, led by its chairman, Jeff Nemeth who was accompanied by his Ford executives; included Mike Whitfield, managing director of Nissan South Africa and vice chairperson of AAAM; Dave Coffey, president of the National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers; Alec Erwin, former South African minister of trade and industry, and currently a consultant to the AAAM, and Cyril Zhungu, CEO of WesBank, South Africa’s largest automotive financing firm.
In his opening presentation, Jeff Nemeth provided a background on the global and African automotive industries, highlighting the successful efforts made by countries like Brazil, Thailand and South Africa to kick start and expand their auto manufacturing bases.
The presentation also touched on the role of government policy in creating an enabling environment to attract investment and create growth, as well as the need to address the critical issue of vehicle financing to broaden consumer base.
According to a press release from the trade ministry signed by Greyne Anosike, deputy director and head of press, the minister led the delegation to the State House for a presentation to the Economic Management Team, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The AAAM which was founded in November 2015 by BMW, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen, aim to work with African governments in order to help develop sustainable manufacturing capacity in the automotive industry, and create new manufacturing hubs across the continent.
The AAAM delegation expressed its keenness to speed up investments in Nigeria, especially considering the country’s potential as a manufacturing hub for West Africa.
Attendees at the meeting also included the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar; the Permanent Secretary, Aminu Aliyu Bisalla; special adviser to the minister on trade, Chiedu Osakwe; director-general of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Aminu Jalal, and other senior ministry officials.
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