Jelani Aliyu, Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) said Nigeria has the ability to build approximately 400,000 vehicles per year.
Aliyu, who stated this at the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) Annual Conference in Abuja, Nigeria has the combined potential to build over 400,000 vehicles each year due to the amount of car manufacturing enterprises in the country.
He stated that Innoson manufactures vehicles for the Nigerian market, and that the company is already exporting vehicles to Mali, providing value to Africa.
While adding that the National Automotive Design and Development Council’s (NADDC) innovation has permitted and supported vehicle assembly and manufacture in the country.
He stated that the first electric vehicle was released in Nigeria earlier this year, and that the Council has gone a step further in leveraging electric powered automobiles.
He also claimed that several automobile manufacturers have begun to create gas-powered automobiles as part of the Federal Government’s National Gas Expansion Programme.
In response to the country’s epileptic power supply, which might be a stumbling block to progress, Aliyu stated, “Nigeria should not be defined by its issues.”
According to him, “We are bigger than our problems. We must be defined by our dreams and aspirations and by what we can achieve.”
The Director General of NADDC said the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, University of Lagos have developed solar-powered vehicles, adding that the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has begun production of environment-friendly, solar- powered automobile.
He noted that the AfCFTA presents the automotive industry with an even wider market of over one billion people.
The communiqué issued at the end of the CICAN Annual Conference, with the theme, “The Role of Nigeria’s MSMEs, Export, Commodities, Trade and Investment in Stabilising the Post-Covid-19 Economy : Issues and Challenges, ” with the sub themes as :”The Place of AfCFTA in Nigeria’s Economic Diversification Plan: Pros & Cons” and the “FG’s MSMEs Survival Fund: Successes, Lessons and Pitfalls,” focused on key issues impacting the trade, investment and industrial sub-sectors of the economy.
The Communiqué which was signed by CICAN Chairman, Frederick Idehai, expressed concern on Nigeria’s continued dependence on oil revenues, which has been a major challenge in the country’s foreign exchange market.
“The conference was of the consensus that though the AfCFTA has its challenges, the pan-African trade pact would deepen economic integration of the continent, improve and expand intra-Africa trade, enable rule-based engagement facilitating dispute resolution and addressing injurious trade practices and would serve as foundation for establishment of a continental Customs Union.
“While the Federal and sub-national governments work to solve the challenges associated with the AfCFTA such as infrastructure dearth, intense competition from cheaper imports and weak regulation, it is pertinent that the private sector ramp up production, improve their packaging and expand distribution to beat the looming competition.
“It was recommended that Nigeria should be mindful not to turn into a dumping ground as the country explores the opportunities in the AfCFTA.
“At the centre of discussions at the conference was the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Fund established by the Federal Government to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on small businesses in Nigeria.
“The speed with which Nigeria exited recession has been attributed to the success of the Fund and other initiatives of the government.
“Participants x-rayed the major impact of the MSME Fund and pitfalls in order to chart a better path in the future.
“The conference reviewed and noted key achievements of the MSME Survival Fund. Data from the Industry Ministry shows that N75billion survival fund has been carried out in four segments even as a total of 174,574 persons successfully registered for the N75 billion National MSME Survival Fund and the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Scheme under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.
“The Scheme, designed to save jobs and sustain local production amidst COVID-19, has impacted small businesses positively. The Fund was adjudged successful and recommended for extension.
“The conference welcomed the Federal Government’s assurance that it has created access to finance to boost production and foster innovation geared towards sustaining small businesses,” according to the Communiqué.