An Automotive communication consultant and Senior Lecturer at Covenant University, Dr. Oscar Odiboh, has said that the Nigeria automobile industry may collapse unless the Federal Government and stakeholders in the sector chart a new way for the ailing sector.
Dr. Odiboh said this recently as a guest lecturer to speak on, ‘Implementation of Nigeria’s Auto Policy: The way Forward’ at the monthly industry forum of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association in Lagos.
He lamented that four years after the introduction of the Federal Government’s Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), Nigerians are yet to feel the impact positively.
He noted that economic downturn, uncertainties and government inactions have crippled the growth of the industry despite concerted effort to turn the country to a vehicle producing nation even as he insisted that the industry is divided and may not thrive until the stakeholders collaborate.
He observed that almost mid-term into the 10-year plan, most of the assembly plants set up in the country lack the standard to compete globally, and can hardly be called assembly plants.
“What we have at the moment are not real assembly plants, they are glorified joineries. 65 per cent of our assembly operations are manual, while 70 per cent of employees are casual. The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), the federal government agency saddled with the responsibility of implementing the auto policy, has repeatedly claimed that there are over 50 auto assembly plants in the country, hence alluding to the success of the policy”
Dr Odiboh, who noted that players in the sector were frustrated through importation rules, added that more than 60 per cent of tools in the sector are manual.
He regretted that rather than producing budget cars the manufactures were busy trying to roll out most advanced cars including electric vehicles.
“The sector’s inability to offer affordable vehicles for mass market would keep used market growing to the detriment of the sector and Nigerians. Lack of patronage is threatening the survival of the sector as brand new vehicles remained unaffordable for an average middle class citizen. I am therefore calling on the federal government to provide a finance that would enable Nigerians acquire brand new vehicles, projected objectives may remain elusive unless there is market for brand new cars. Poor power supply, bad roads, lack of processed raw materials, lack of long term financial investment and others are the problem the industry is having. Corruption, deceptive data from the stakeholder, profit diversion, mutual suspicion, porous borders as well as poor positioning could eventually run down the policy” he concluded.