Automotive Institute Urges FG to charge engineers to produce Nigerian car within 18 months

The Automotive and Locomotive Engineers Institute, under the leadership of Engr. Zamani Ishaya-WAIDUNG recently organised its Public Lecture. It recommended various policy action plans toward Nigerian economy development through Automotive sector. Below is text of the communique issued at the end of the event.

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE PUBLIC LECTURE ON “THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: IMPLICATIONS FOR NIGERIA”  

PREAMBLE:
The Automotive & Locomotive Engineers’ Institute (AutoEI), a Division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) held a Public Lecture on “THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: IMPLICATIONS FOR NIGERIA” on 26th September, 2018 at the Auditorium of the Nigerian Society of Engineers Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria under the chairmanship of Engr. A. O. Mokuolu, FNSE, the President of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) ably represented by HRH Engr. Otis O. T. Anyaeji FNSE, FAEng, FAutoEI, the Immediate Past President of NSE. The Chief Host of this great occasion was the National Chairman of AutoEI, Engr. Zamani Ishaya-WAIDUNG FNSE, FAutoEI, FNIMechE.
The distinguished speaker, Engr. Aminu Jalal FNSE, FAutoEI, FNIMechE, FNIM, former Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) eloquently spoke on “THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN THE 21ST CENTURY: IMPLICATIONS FOR NIGERIA”.

The Public Lecture which attracted many participants from academia, government and industry. The Lecture was graced by Mr. Jelani Aliyu, MFR, the Director General/CEO, National Automotive Design and Development Council who was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, Engr. Danazumi Ibrahim, the Director General/CEO, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Professor Abubakar Sani Sambo, FNSE, former Special Adviser on Energy to the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Engr. Hamisu M. Muhammad, FNSE, FAutoEI, former Vice Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi.

In attendance were some National Executive officers of NSE, Engr. A.I. Okolo, FNSE, FAutoEI, the General Manager, Industrial Division of PAN, Engr. Ben Nwude, FNSE, FAutoEI, the Immediate Past President of the Nigerian Society of Mining Engineers, Engr. Ahmed Amshei, former Executive Secretary of NSE and Engr. D.A. Gauji, FNSE, FAutoEI, Directors and senior officials of National Automotive Design and Development Council, some senior officials of National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and many others.

After the thought-provoking lecture useful contributions were received from other critical stakeholders of the automotive and locomotive industry. The participants then came out with the following observations and resolutions:

1. The federal government through the National Automotive Design & Development Council (NADDC) should identify and benchmark local content manufacturers in various technologies. NADDC should conduct technical audit and provide the required support to upgrade their capabilities especially on equipment and processes that will make them attractive to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). This will go a long way to boost local integration on the future Nigerian car.

2. It was observed that Nigeria has practically many of the raw materials for vehicle production. Efforts should be intensified by the Federal Ministry of Solid Minerals to develop the Nigerian mining and steel industries. Also NADDC should formulate policies and strategize on how to develop more automotive components, so that investment in component manufacturing can be made easy using model rationalization and standardization for guarantee sustainable development of Nigerian automotive industry.

3. The present level of public awareness on Electric Vehicles (EVs) is low. An aggressive public awareness campaign on the uses of EVs, charging-points and the NADDC-EV Proto-type should be launched and sustained by NADDC and other Stakeholders. Also the huge micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) business potentials of EVs should be fully exploited for engineering Entrepreneurs to create more jobs for the teeming youths.

4. Governments in the advanced economies are encouraging the development of electric vehicles to reduce air pollution and green house gas emissions. Thus, the Federal Ministry of Environment should join in the development and promotion of the use of EVs in Nigeria to help achieve signed global Climate change agreements.

5. Uninterruptible and High quality electric power is a fundamental infrastructure for the successful adoption of EVs. The Federal Government through it Ministry of Power, Ministry of Transportation and the NADDC should intensify its efforts in collaboration with the private sector in providing cheap, available and adequate electricity especially at major transportation and economic hub of the nation.

6. The demand of oil and gas powered mobility products are gradually declining with the advent of electric vehicles. Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, and the NADDC should provide sustained policies and sponsor legislation from National Assembly to reposition the nation to benefit from enormous opportunities derivable from electric and autonomous vehicles design, production, commercialization and servicing in the bid to achieve a manufacturing and industrialized Nigeria economy. Thus, as part of the economic diversification policy of government as well as added impetus to avert economic decline, the development of a vibrant automotive industry should serve as an alternative to our current oil economy to keep the nation on a steady economic growth path.

7. In light of the carnage on our roads caused partly due to un-roadworthy vehicles plying our roads, it is hereby strongly recommended that:

(i) The states’ governments should revived, reformed and sufficiently fund their vehicle inspection and certification system, there after integrated the systems more nationwide for effective service delivery;

(ii) The Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) should implement SONCAP on imported vehicles by requiring that all imported vehicles have road-worthiness certificate from the country of origin. This will stop the importation of un-roadworthy vehicles into Nigeria

8. The Automotive Engineering and related engineering discipline curriculum in tertiary institutions should be upgraded by the Regulators like the NUC, NBTE, COREN, NADDC, AutoEI and other key stakeholders to cover electric and autonomous vehicles technologies, their manufacturing, operations and maintenance in reflection of institutional objectives and industry trends. The curriculum should be reinforced by education in humanities, entrepreneurship, economics, management and use of computer technology for solving engineering and economic problems so the automotive engineering graduates will be part of the system and national solutions.

9. Nigerian professionals should take ownership of the Presidential Executive Order number-5 to promote indigenous practice, competencies and capabilities. All Government MDAs especially Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Immigration Services, NOTAP should collaborate with the Automotive and Locomotive Engineers Institute (AutoEI) for the provision of Nigerian licensed professional and experts for services and products before recourse for foreign alternatives as directed by the President of our Federal Republic.

10. The Federal Government should charge the automotive engineers to produce a Nigerian car within 18 months through full sponsorship like it has done with development of some national infrastructures like power plants and water dams. The Nigerian President and other national leaders should out of patriotism officially use the Nigerian car for national prestige and the promotion of “Buy Nigerian” to provide sufficient local market for them thereby sustaining development of the industry; create employment, youth empowerment and economic growth.

For: Automotive Engineers’ Institute (AutoEI)

Engr. Zamani Ishaya-WAIDUNG, FNSE, FAutoEI, FNIMechE
National Chairman.

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