The Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, Jelani Aliyu, has expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon start production of advanced vehicles used in developed countries.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of GITEX 2017 at the World Trade Centre in Dubai, UAE, Mr Aliyu said the world has moved on and Nigeria cannot be left behind in using electric, driverless vehicles and car sharing services.
The NADDC boss said he met with a coalition of international Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, and automobile giants BMW, Nissan, Volks Wagen and Toyota on how to start building vehicles in Nigeria.
“If you look at where the automotive sector is headed globally, there are three things happening. They call them the three mega trends of the automotive sector. They are Electrification, that is the development and usage of electric part vehicles – those that don’t use petrol or diesel – but powered by electricity. So there is huge momentum with those. And we also have Autonomy, that is the type of vehicles that drive themselves. And then there is the Rideshare – companies like Uber and Lyft.
“So these three major trends are revolutionising transport solutions. And technology plays a role in enabling electric cars, in enabling autonomous vehicles and in enabling ridesharing. So there is a convergence now between the ICT sector and the Automotive sector. So being here at the GITEX is a wonderful opportunity to connect with the stakeholders that are pushing that industry.
“It is also a huge opportunity for NADDC and NITDA to collaborate and see how we can provide these highly technological vehicles in Nigeria.
“If you are talking about vehicle that uses a lot of embedded ICT systems, that means we have to leverage the ICT capabilities in Nigeria. That is where we will work very closely with NITDA in identifying the types of talents that will be applicable in the automotive sector.
“Nigeria cannot be left behind. The rest of the world has moved on. So we will not just work toward building the capacity, we will work toward enabling the production of advanced types of vehicles.
“Just last week, we met with a coalition of international OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). We met with BMW, Nissan, Volks Wagen, Toyota… We discussed with them the potentials that exist in Nigeria and the need to come on board to begin building vehicles in the country. And there was huge interest. Our discussion touched on not just building not just any type of ordinary vehicle but in building the same type of advanced vehicles that are available around the world.
“Nigerians can’t afford to continue to drive old and dilapidated vehicles. Every Nigeria has the right to be able to afford and use a brand new vehicle that is safe, effective and efficient. And towards that end, NADDC is also working with very strong and relevant partners to see how we can provide automotive financing scheme to allow people to not have to put down 100 per cent when you are buying a vehicle, but to take a vehicle and then pay over time. So this will allow every Nigerian to afford vehicle whether for personal or commercial use,” he added.