A senior lecturer with Covenant University, Otta, Ogun State, Dr. Oscar Odiboh, has advocated optional implementation models for Nigeria’s ailing auto industry.
Odiboh who spoke in Lagos recently at the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) monthly industry forum, held in Surulere, made his submission against the backdrop of the four years old Nigeria Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) by the Federal Government, which has been roundly criticised by industry stakeholders.
According to Odiboh, there is an urgent need to re-jig the implementation style of the policy. He suggested three implementation models as follows: Joint implementation, Sole implementation and NEEDS implementation.
Under Joint implementation, which he charted into partnership/co-investor model, provider model and cap investment model, the lecturer advocated the involvement of the Nigeria Auto Manufacturers Association (NAMA), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and government as joint deciders, sharing the risks, benefits and responsibilities.
On Sole Implementation model, he canvassed deregulated private sector and regulated public models. He also advocated that the NEEDS implementation model covers the Single NEEDS model and multi stage NEEDS models.
However, Odiboh, who spoke on the topic- ‘Implementation of Nigeria’s Auto Policy: The way Forward’, insisted that the industry is divided and may not thrive until the stakeholders collaborate.
He observed that although we are almost in the middle of the first ten years plan of the Nigerian auto policy, most of the assembly plants set up in the country lack the standard to compete globally, and can hardly be called assembly plants.
He said: “What we have at the moment are not real assembly plants, they are glorified joineries. On average, 65 per cent of our assembly operations are manual, while 70 per cent of employees are casual.”
It would be recalled that the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), the federal government agency saddled with the responsibility of implementing the auto policy, has repeatedly claimed that there are over 50 auto assembly firms in the country, hence alluding to the success of the policy.
Odiboh, who noted that Players in the sector were frustrated by importation rules, added that more than 60 per cent of tools in the sector are manual.
Calling for budget cars, Odiboh stressed that the sector’s inability to offer affordable vehicles for mass market would keep used market growing to the detriment of the sector.