Trade minister assures auto manufacturers of readiness for investment

by | August 15, 2016 9:15 pm

Minister of industry, trade and investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, has assured of Nigeria’s commitment to the efficient implementation of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), as part of efforts at fast-tracking Nigeria’s economic diversification goals. 

The minister said 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, included Mike Whitfield, managing director of Nissan South Africa and vice chairperson of AAAM; Ford executives; 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 of 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-making 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 widen the consumer base.

According to a press release from the trade ministry signed by Greyne Anosike, deputy director/head of press, after the presentation, the minister led the delegation to the State House to make a presentation to the Economic Management Team, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The AAAM team is scheduled to round off its visit to Nigeria with a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday afternoon.

The AAAM was founded in November 2015 by BMW, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen, to work with African governments 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 scale up investments in Nigeria, especially considering the country’s potential as a manufacturing hub for West Africa.

Also at the meeting were 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.