By: EFULA ABBAHDEEN (General Editor)
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]takeholders in the Automotive Industry in Nigeria have held a landmark forum in Lagos. The forum which witnessed the attendance of, who-is-who in the fast rising Nigerian Auto making environment converged to chart ways of moving Motor Assembling and production in the country forward.
The event, which took place at the Skyline Terrace Hall of Oriental Hotel, in Victoria Island, Lagos, early last week, saw a grand style arrival of stakeholders to the meeting venue which was filled to capacity.
The Honorable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah in his opening remarks, noted that “the forum was not organized to reverse the Auto Policy in Nigeria, but to rub minds with Stakeholders on how to get desired results,in order to make jobs available for Nigerians.”
The high-point of the brain storming occasion was the Insight Sessions, which witnessed Panel discussion with Key stakeholders like Dr. Cosmas Maduka, President, Coscharis Group, leading the first set of Panelists, which included, Mr. Ibrahim Boyi, Managing director, PAN Nigeria Limited and Deputy Chairman, Nigeria Automotive Manufacturers Association; and Mr. Ade Ojo, Managing Director, Toyota Nigeria Limited. Others were Mr. Thomas Pelletier, Managing director, CFAO Automotive Equipment and Services Limited; Mr. Tokunbo Aromolaran, Managing Director, VON Automobile Nigeria Limited and Chairman, Nigerian Automotive Manufacturers Association. While Mr. Andrew Nevin, Chief Economist, PwC. Nigeria; Mr. Ascanio Russo, Managing Director, Grimaldi Agency Nigeria Limited; and Mr. Chidi Ajaere, Executive Chairman, God is Good Motors; as well as Mr. Michael Larbie, CEO and Regional Head, West Africa, Rand merchant Bank and Mr. Sunday Hart, Director of Operations and Logistics, Michelin Nigeria.
The backdrop of the Panelists’ discussions was centered on discouragement of illegal importation of vehicles into the country and advised on deliberate government incentives to encourage local Assembly Plants to be able to meet the desired target of lifting out of being mere Assembling Plants into a Producing capacity.
Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who also made the closing remarks, commended the think-tanks of Stakeholders and reminded that the basic objective of developing the Automotive Industry was because “Government is interested in developing and harnessing local content, in order to create jobs for Nigerians” adding that any Policy that puts Nigerians in mind and sustains employment will receive government’s support.
The forum, organized by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment targeted on setting an Implementation Agenda for the National Automotive Development Plan (NAIDP)