China has an electric car manufacturing company, BYD. BYD is a major rival to America’s Tesla and actually produce and sale their electric cars at 50% the price of Tesla.
As part of the policy program put in place by the Chinese government to ensure the production and sale of 2m electric cars in China by 2020, the Chinese government now subisdises buyers of these electric cars.
Here in Nigeria we do not manufacture cars. The only indigenous company, that has invested so much to do a semblance of car assembly and production plant, Innoson Motors does not enjoy maximum policy and program support from the governments at all levels. We do not have other entrepreneurs venturing into this very important industry because we do not have robust policy support that encourages local entrepreneurs to venture deep into it.
China did not just start maufacturing good and qualitative cars overnight. There were periods in Nigeria, in the 80s and 90s, when Nigerians ridiculed cars and auto parts coming in from China and Taiwan because of their substandard qualities. But today, they are upto there in terms of quality with the rest of the world. This feat was not achieved by error. It took painstaking sustainable policy and programme supports by the Chinese government to get them to where they are today.
Malaysia, Brazil, Indonesia, Singapore etc. who were behind Nigeria in the 1960s have their well developed auto industry with robust and proactive policy supports to boost and protect the local entrepreneurs today.
Is it not ironic/tragic that in Nigeria, where we do not produce even the bolt of the wheels of any form of cars , that Tarrifs on imported vehicles and parts are almost 100%. How can any sensible government, without any tangible policy support for even the local auto plants here and no means of helping the over 176million Nigerians , who live on less than N60,000/$165 a month income, put almost 100% tarrif on imported auto parts and tokunbo cars? You are simply saying to these folks , that you cannot legitimately earn incomes to buy your own car (which is not even a luxury , but a necessity)
WHERE ATIKU COMES IN?
I do hope and want to strongly believe that part of the auto policy/program moves of the incoming Atiku Abubakar government under the youth apprenticeship scheme to create jobs for our youths is to pursue this key buy Nigeria auto mobile initiatives. A program that will make it compulsory for MDAs to buy only made in Nigerians cars.
Part of the policy/programs supports to enhance the sustainability of this scheme is to speedily roll out artisan training/parts procurement centers for these locally assembled and manufactured cars in all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria under a PPP arrangements.
To break it further down for those , who may not understand what the plans are; It means that to encourage local auto players like, Innoson to increase capacity and encourage Nigerians to patronise purchase of those Nigerian made cars, the FGN partnering with selected key private sector players, the 36 states and 774 LGAs will set up artisan mechanics training centers and diagnostics in the 774 LGAs of Nigeria under a PPP framework.
Auto parts sales/procurement centers for these locally assembled cars should also be set up in these 774 LGAs . The FGN partnering with these selected private sector auto players , the development bank of Nigeria and selected local deposit money banks and insurance companies, will provide 5 to 10 years auto facilities to encourage local consumers to patronise these locally made vehicles. The presence of auto mechanics with excellent skills to repair these cars and availability of ready spare parts in all the 774 LGAs (plus production subsidies,) will encourage massive local patronages
The Chinese, Taiwanese, Malaysians , Brazilians etc did similar things and today, their local auto industries are booming.
Nigeria can also leverage on her size, demography and huge human capital to create a transhipment port here in Nigeria and make Nigeria the merchant and commercial hub for Africa. We can leverage on the African Free Trade Agreeement that Buhari refused to execute (Atiku will execute it) to take made in Nigerian goods into other African 1.2billion people sizec market.
Have we ever paused for a second and wondered why Morroco has been fighting tooth and nail to be part of ECOWAS (that is even with the attendant risk of making their country center of illegal immigration hotbed for West Africans seeking to get into Europe?).
A properly developed, horned and executed sustaineble local auto policy and programmes will create tens/hundreds of thousands of jobs over time. We cannot reinvent the wheel, only modify it to suit our local needs.
MAY GOD NEVER ALLOW US TO CONTINUE ON THIS NEXT LEVEL PATH OF CLUELESSNESS, MEDIOCRITY, MORONITY AND EMPTY /BOGUS PROMISES WITHOUT PLANS
Dr Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiaraeri, FICA, MIRA