By Theodore Opara
EXPERTS in the automotive industry in Nigeria and others from Middle East and Africa have called for urgent action that will address key challenges in the sector and ensure that projected goals under the current policy are achieved.
Worried over influx of substandard automotive products, poor infrastructure, unnecessary custom regulation, lack of financing scheme and others, the stakeholders, who gathered to discuss leeway and prospects of Automechanika 2018, were hopeful that the next edition of the industry’s key event, Automechanika Dubai, which holds from May 1 – 3, 2018, would create a platform that would help government’s drive to build vehicles locally in Nigeria and reduce importation of fake automobile parts.
Speaking at the event, former Director, Policy and Planning, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Mr. Luqman Mamud insisted that there were huge opportunities in the sector. He said government is committed to addressing the challenges in the sector and ensure that objectives of the country’s automotive policy were achieved.
According to him, the 2018 Automechanika in Dubai is timely and remained a key platform that will help the industry in Nigeria to grow, especially in the areas addressing aftermarket challenges. Also speaking at the occasion, chairman of the auto sector in the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); Dr. D.V.C. Obi called for an industrial revolution that would put Nigeria on the path of development, adding that government was not committed to making the sector thrive.
Obi asked the organisers of the Automechanika to consider hosting the event in Nigeria, saying that it would be more beneficial to the sector. Regional Brand Development Manager, Messe Frankfurt Middle East, Abdelrahman Kurdieh, said Automechanika remained the largest international automotive aftermarket trade exhibition in the wider Middle East and offer opportunities capable of helping market to growth in Nigeria.
Apart from the six sections of the fair; Parts and Components, Electronics and Systems, Repair and Maintenance, Tyres and Batteries, Service Station and Car Wash and Accessories and Tuning, Kurdieh said the business matchmaking segment of the event would present stakeholders with the right opportunities.
Noting that the trade fair has hosted more 30 thousand visited and about 2,000 exhibitors from different countries, he said the truck competence initiative of the event would also see exhibitors showcase parts, equipment and services related to the commercial vehicle segment.
Chief Executive Officer, Exhibition and Trade Fair Limited, Omonigho Itoya, representative of the company in Nigeria, remarked that the fair is a must for players, who are looking at networking and business opportunities.
She said the quality of event and experience Messe Frankfurt is known for would once again come to play in the 2018 Automechanika, adding that the company would ensure Nigerians are supported in getting the best out of the exhibition.
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