Automotive Council Woos Development Banks to Unlock $1 trillion Funding for Auto Industry

James Emejo in Abuja

Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Oluwemimo Osanipin, yesterday revealed that talks were underway with development banks and other international partners for funding interventions for the country’s auto industry.

In an interaction with journalists in Abuja, Osanipin estimated the current financing gap of the industry at about $1 trillion.

He said the dearth of funding had slowed the pace of growth in the auto industry, noting that the council was in high-level discussion with the banks.

He said, “We are working on that (funding), not only with the development banks; we are working on other ways that we can get funding, not even within Nigeria. There are some people we are discussing with on any other ways we can assess funds dedicated to the auto industry.”

He said the industry required between $1 trillion and $5 trillion to achieve its desired growth, noting that banks and partners are already buying into the funding proposals.

The NADDC said, “For us, we are not investors; we are only trying to initiate the process. For this sector to achieve desired growth, it will require close to $1 trillion in funding, but it doesn’t have to be just once”.

“As a starting point, we can allocate approximately $1 billion. These are the kinds of things we are already discussing with our funding partners. It’s not for the council. It’s for the players – Innoson, PAN in Kaduna, and JAC. For example, for Innoson to move to the next level, it may need some funding in millions of dollars. All these auto firms need this funding, and then a lot of funding is still going to come to them.”

Speaking on the Council’s plans for the accreditation and certification of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered vehicle conversion workshops in Nigeria, Osanipin said the council would use the National Occupational Standard (NOS) to train Nigerans.

According to him, “The first thing we did was, for you to promote CNG, you must first think of the availability of CNG vehicles. That’s why we came up with NOS and NABTEB as certification approvals. We are going to use the curriculum to train Nigerian engineers on that.

“Number two is the accreditation of workshops. You can go to our website and apply, and in applying, you have to tell us about the facility and the personnel. The facility is not going to be fixed for conversion.

“For us to certify the personnel, you have to show us that they are capable and that they have done this training using the curriculum. You have done the training, you have the certification, and after that, we can accredit the workshop. With the workshop accredited, we move on to the next one, which is conversion and maintenance.”

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