Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Jelani Aliyu, on Tuesday in Abuja, declared that Nigeria has the combined capacity to produce over 400,000 vehicles annually.
Aliyu, who stated this at the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) Annual Conference in Abuja, said with the number of car manufacturing companies in the country, the country has the combined capacity to produce over 400,000 vehicles per year.
Noting that Innoson is producing vehicles for the Nigerian market, Aliyu added that the car manufacturing company already exports vehicles to Mali, thereby adding value to Africa.
He noted that the innovation introduced by the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), has enabled and fostered the assembling and production of vehicles in the country.
He said the first electric vehicle was launched earlier this year in Nigeria, adding that the Council had gone a step further to leverage on the electric-powered vehicle.
Besides, Aliyu also revealed that some car manufacturing companies have begun to produce gas-powered vehicles as part of measures to support the Federal Government’s National Gas Expansion Programme.
Commenting on the epileptic power supply in the country which could be a clog in the wheel of progress, Aliyu said, “Nigeria should not be defined by its challenges.”
He said, “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 the 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, signed by CICAN Chairman, Frederick Idehai, expressed concern about 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, it agreed that the pan-African trade pact would deepen the 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 the foundation for the 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.
(BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR, ABUJA)