Global auto makers, Nissan said it will significantly increase its investments in Nigeria and increase its vehicles manufacturing and production in the country.
The company said it will also begin to work more closely with the National Automotive Design and Development Council(NADDC), in order to create more skills and jobs opening for Nigerians that are interested in going into automotive design and development industry.
These revelations were parts of the commitment of the company, following the meeting held with the NADDC led by its Director General, Mr. Jelani Aliyu at the Nissan’s Headquarters in Lagos.
The global auto maker said it is in full support of the NADDC’s plans and committed bid to make Nigeria the automotive design and development epicenter of Africa.
This latest initiative, according to industry stakeholders, is coming even as NADDC reinforces its efforts at creating more skills and job opportunities for Nigerians through its auto test centers located in various parts of the county.
Making these disclosures after successfully meeting with Nissan’s Executive Vice President for Africa, Middle East and India, Mr. Peyman Kargar at the global auto makers headquarters in Lagos, the Director General of NADDC, Mr. Jelani Aliyu, said Nissan, through its partner, Stallion Motors has pledged its commitment to make more significant investments in Nigeria automotive sector.
He said the Nissan vehicles assembly plant which already covers over 380 hectares in Lagos, and produces four vehicles brands including patrol, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), Almeria Sedan Urban Mini buses and Pick-up trucks after the meeting, further reiterated its commitment to growing its investments and footprints in Nigeria.
Following the meeting with NADDC director general and his team, the auto manufacturers reiterated that it was committed to working even closer with NADDC in order to develop the automotive industry in Nigeria.
Jelani said NADDC is also working with other global automobile manufacturers, including BMW, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen towards setting up operations to produce brand new ones right here in Nigeria, thereby employing thousands of Nigerians in the process.
He further disclosed that NADDC has structured the National Automotive Industrial Development Plan in full support of local automotive manufacturing, and is continuously and actively working with relevant stakeholders to provide a vehicle financing scheme so Nigerians won’t have to put down 100% cash when buying new cars.
Industry experts said with these initiatives already being put in place by the NADDC, that Nigeria will move 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.
Giving further insights into how the country will benefit from these initiatives, the director general disclosed that NADDC is in process of finalising building three test centers in Lagos, Enugu and Zaria to make sure that the cars and components produced, sold and used in the country are world standard.
“NADDC is working on building PPP Automotive Supplier Parks in Nnewi, Kaduna and Oshogbo that would go into automotive components production, and the agency is engaging NAACAM of South Africa, a consortium of OEM components manufacturers that supply the big global automotive companies, NAACAM will support as part of a body of many international technical partners”.
He added that the council is strongly supporting local automotive producers, pointing out that other manufacturers such as Honda, Ford, and Yutong are already producing vehicles in Nigeria.
“Innoson is producing its own vehicles in Nnewi. Peugeot in Kaduna has introduced new models that it produces. Nigeria would soon start production of advanced vehicles used in developed countries”, the director general said.
According to him, “Nigerians can’t afford to continue to drive old and dilapidated vehicles. Every Nigeria has the right to be able to afford and use a brand-new vehicle that is safe, effective and efficient, adding the council will continue to work with very strong and relevant partners.
“This will allow every Nigerian to afford vehicle whether for personal or commercial use,” the NADDC’s director general added.