Pay Urgent Attention To Precarious Situation Of Nigeria’s Automotive Sector -Jaiyesimi Urges FG

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….as assembly plant workers force into after-sales and technicians


With what stakeholders in the automotive sector are passing through presently, Kunle Jaiyesimi, deputy managing director of CFAO Motors, has said that Nigeria’s automotive industry is in a precarious situation and needs urgent attention.


Jaiyesimi made the disclosure while making a presentation at the last 7th edition of the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association ( NAJA) training/capacity building workshop held Friday, 29th July 2022, at the Conference and Exhibition Centre of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Alausa, Ikeja with the theme: “Accelerating Automobile Industry Recovery Strategy In Post COVID-19 Era”. 


According to the deputy managing director, his company, CFAO is not isolated from the catalogue of woes that the local automotive industry is passing through, despite their efforts made so far to build the sector to an enviable position. 


Kunle Jaiyesimi who is also the chairman of the Auto & Allied sub-Sectoral group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry, (LCCI) pointed out that, his company has been having an impact on the prevailing economic situation but has decided not to lay off their workers. 



To keep the employees, he disclosed that CFAO had since converted their workers in assembly plants to after-sales staff, so as to continue to keep them. 


He, therefore, urged automotive journalists to do an independent investigation into the workings of assembly plants in the country, so that they can come up with an ascertained report about what is happening in that area. 



Picking holes in the Nigerian Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) which took off in 2013 to revitalise the auto industry, Jaiyesimi noted that the impact had not been felt. 


Lamenting the situation, he said “When the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) came up with the policy, we had it in phases; that is starting with semi-knocked down, SKD1 SKD2 and SKD3. It was expected that after 5 years, we would have migrated to CKD. By 2014, we should have been in CKD but we are still in SKD in 2022”.


“Can we even talk of manufacturing tyres today? Tyre manufacturers in Nigeria have migrated to Ghana and I don’t blame them. It is unthinkable that after many years, no headway has been made. Ghana took our auto policy which we gave them and they worked on it.”


Today auto giants like to invest in Ghana instead of Nigeria because of the business-friendly environment there. These foreign firms get information from local operators.


He called for more serious about assembling vehicles in Nigeria adding that. Ghana has an advantage now because, with the way things are going, it will come to a point whereby the country will produce and bring its auto products down into the country and that will be the end of the Nigeria Auto industry 


Stressing that the auto industry is very symbolic in a lot of countries, he challenged the media to do more in the areas of investigative journalism. 


This year’s training programme was sponsored by Weststar Associates, franchisees of Mercedes-Benz brand, Stallion Motors with Nissan, Hyundai, Porsche, MG, Changan and Audi franchise, Toyota Nigeria Limited and CFAO Motor, franchise owners of Mitsubishi and Suzuki brands in the country. 


Key facilitators at this year’s training programme included Kunle Jaiyesimi, deputy managing director of CFAO group, Oscar O. Odiboh, a lecturer at the mass communication department of the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun state and Kunle Bamidele, chief technology officer, Pro-ICE Ltd. 



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The training event was well attended by stakeholders including the FRSC, NADDC, Weststar Associates, Stallion Motors, CFAO amongst others. 


NAJA with Mike Ochonma as its current chairman is the umbrella body of Nigeria’s motoring journalists which cuts across print and online publications. The training workshop is an annual programme organised to refresh the minds of practising auto journalists on the trend of auto journalism worldwide.

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