Over 20 foreign investors and consultants from the automotive industry visited the country last week and held meetings with Nigerian authorities on investment opportunities in Nigeria’s automotive sector.
The international investors in the African automotive industry, who visited Abuja, Lagos, and Edo State to engage various stakeholders, were in the country to gain insight into the opening business opportunities and investment environment in the Nigerian automotive sector.
They were also around to assist in the shaping of national and state policy to support industry overall and domesticated manufacturing for the automotive sector, and gain insight into the automotive sector and potential for enhanced manufacturing in Nigeria.
The visit, Okechukwu Enelemah, minister of industry, trade and investment, said in a statement, was enabled to build relationships and networks with key government and private sector figures, and to deepen the structured business links and investment between the private sectors of Nigeria and South Africa.
In separate meetings, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Enelamah, shared the Federal Government’s economic priorities with the investors.
Vice President Osinbajo assured the investors that the government had the political will to implement the auto policy.
“There have been some difficulties with the implementation approach,” he said, “but this is the time we have considerable political will. If we can get the individual components right, we should be able to fly with this policy.”
Enelamah, who was the host of the delegation, said: “It is an encouraging expression of confidence in the leadership of the country and our spirited efforts to exploit the socio-economic potentials of the automotive sector in the country to the fullest for the benefit of all Nigerians.
“The visit also offered networking opportunities for Nigerians in the auto industry and other stakeholders.
“We are excited by the role the automotive industry plays in the strategic and catalytic economic development of countries and we are committed to developing the sector speedily to facilitate the economic diversification of the country.”
On their part, the delegation said that their business intention in Nigeria is to domesticate aspects of their manufacturing and supply value chain.
“The plan is to have short, medium and long-term approaches that target growth in the manufacture of cars in Nigeria, similar to the over 60,000 cars produced per annum in South Africa,” said Thomas Schaefer, the Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, who led the delegation.
Shaefer also requested that Nigeria’s new automotive policy be passed into law as it has the potential to activate their investments and unlock the growth of Africa’s automotive sector.
Earlier in 2016, The African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM), held meetings with the Economic Management Team (EMT) and His Excellency, The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari in their desire to contribute to the development of viable automotive assembly sectors within key African economies.
It is to do this through engaging with governments and national investors in order to cooperate in the development of effective automotive manufacturing and investment programmes.
AAAM believes that the development of viable automotive sectors within African economies will contribute to Africa’s industrialization, economic integration and employment creation. Its members include BMW, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and VW.
Automotive industry stakeholders from Volkswagen, Nissan, Bosch, BMW and Uber attended last week’s meetings. There were also representatives from Standard Bank of Africa, International Finance Corporation, Graffitti, Deloitte, Actis, among others.