By Abel Ude
The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), has said it is committed to its vision of President Muhammadu Buhari to make Nigeria the hub for automotive development on the African continent and would not be distracted from that objective.
According to the Council, no amount of distractions intimidation or schemes will derail it from its goal, considering in particular that the council has recorded commendable achievements under its current director general, Mr. Jelani Aliyu (MFR).
In a statement on Thursday to address lingering speculations regarding the activities of the agency, NADDC said the leadership of Jelani Aliyu (MFR), has attracted over one billion dollars investments into the auto sector in Nigeria, has introduced a 5 billion naira vehicle finance scheme for Nigerians and more than 15,000 made in Nigeria vehicles sold in 2019 alone.
Nigeria, it can be recalled, used to spend over eight billion dollars annually for the importation of used vehicles into the country.
However, Current capacity for local vehicle production, according to NADDC stands at well over half a million annually, while manufacturers including Honda, Peugeot, Innoson, Mitsubishi amongst others have created thousands of jobs for Nigerians within the period,
The council reiterated that only 10 percent of vehicle value will be put down when buying a new vehicle under the scheme that NADDC has put in place, while the over 8 billion dollars spent by Nigerians annually to import used vehicles has been considerably reduced.
Already nearing completion, NADDC pointed is the Vehicle Materials Testing Centre in Kaduna State, which would ensure standard materials go into the production of locally manufactured vehicles and automotive components.
It would be one of the three automotive test centers that the NADDC is currently building and nearing completion in the country: Zaria (Materials Testing), Lagos, (Emissions Testing), Enugu, (Components Testing).
On his part, Director of Finance and Accounts of the Council, Dr David Oyetunji, said since his appointment as director has surpassed expectations in implementing the mandate of the council.
Dr. Oyetunji, apart from handling the finance of the Council, it was gathered, has initiated and coordinated projects that impacted positively on the industry.
As director, he was responsible for the national survey on design and uses of electric vehicles in Nigeria and the evaluation on the establishment and operation of the mechanic village, and the establishment and operation of the auto industrial park and the review the automotive workshop on public private project (PPP)
The Impact of the Automotive Industry in Nigeria: Lessons from India, China and Southeast Asia, Workshop on ‘Electric Vehicles in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges, alongside the one on Solar-Powered Traction: Prospects and Challenges, as organized and coordinated by the DFA through NADDC, are visible indications of the forward looking direction of the council.
He cited the initiation and implementation of quality policies, strategies and bringing in world class approaches that has made Nigeria become and remain the center for automotive development in Africa.
Oyetunji said apart from the exhibition of great resourcefulness in bringing original equipment manufacturers to Nigeria, that NADDC has introduced and executed policies that has increased job creation, reduced road accidents due to fake parts and reduced environmental pollution due to the creation and sustenance of the emission control centers across Nigeria.
He affirmed that the council is working on sustaining the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan (NAIDP), alongside and other laws relating to automotive industry in Nigeria.
According to him, the council has also been engaging with global experts in the renewable energy sector for the support needed for the production of electric vehicles in Nigeria, partnering with the China New Energy International Alliance, in strategic efforts towards the adoption, support and Placing of Nigeria on the global automotive map.
“NADDC is working hard towards making the country remain a fertile ground for investment in the automotive industry”, Oyetunji added.
Speaking in the same vein, the Director of Special Duties of the Council, Mr. Sani Dogondaji, said the engagements with investors and technical partners for the NADDC’s planned three automotive industrial parks located in Nnewi, Kaduna and Oshogbo, is a masterstroke for the development of the sector.
He noted that the Nnewi project already has a master plan design, and is already almost completed.
According to him, the signing of a memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) with Volkswagen for the development and production of Volkswagen vehicles in Nigeria by the Jelani Aliyu led NADDC has not gone unnoticed by stakeholders and observers in the industry.
Dogondaji noted that the initiative will not only produce vehicles in Nigeria, but also create other development opportunities, and have positive multipliers effects on the economy, including massive job creation and skill development and transfers.
He said NADDC is continuously sustaining the harmonious relationship with all of the sector’s stakeholders, adding the collaboration with state governments to industrialize, acquire and transfer skills has positively change the industry in depth.
The NADDC, it would be recalled under the current leadership, commenced the execution of policies to stop the importation of worn out vehicles into the country to avoid accidents on the Nigerian roads, including building of a data repository of any vehicle that comes into Nigeria.
The council, investigations revealed, has also take steps in getting the right expertise for training for students by sending them to advanced countries for training on new technologies, while it has continued to support local vehicles production companies with repayable loans. About N11bn has been given to about 36 companies most of which has already been repaid.
NADDC, it was gathered, has engaged productively with global automobile manufacturers, including BMW, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen Peugeot, and Dangote – Sino Trucks towards setting up operations to produce brand new vehicles in Nigeria, thereby employing thousands of Nigerians in the process.
“The NADDC under the current leadership of Jelani Aliyu has moved Nigeria from a place where there are few highly expensive cars and millions of cheap very old ones, to a place where there are millions of modern new cars and even more of current high-end ones”, Dogondaji noted.
“The council has partnered with N-Power to train over three thousand auto technicians, providing them with world class exposures, NADDC is conferring special fiscal incentives for the promotion of local automotive production, including a 10% tariff on Semi Knocked Down (SKD), 0% on Completely Knocked Down (CKD), and a 10-year tax holiday for pioneer status investments.”
According to him, the council has provided greater incentives and opportunities for the tyre sub sector and original equipment manufacturing industry in Nigeria, including restoration of assembly plants and developing local content.
He said the establishment of a Sub-Saharan African Automotive Development Plan, and the establishment of the National Auto Design Challenge for talented youths across the six Geo-Political Zones of Nigeria, has provided opportunities for Nigerian youths to showcase their talents and skills, that has taken the sector under the current director general to a new and higher level.