Saturday, April 2, 2033
The Nigerian economy is one that had suffered decades of corruption and hopelessness. Made in Nigeria (M.I.N) products and services were synonymous with inferiority or, at best, outrageously high prices. The M.I.N suffered the condemnation of its own creators as much as it did of foreigners.
Like they say, it takes little effort to destroy but grave and painful energy to build. The M.I.N (as “exquisitely” called by rappers and singers the world over) started to witness its slow-but-steady turnaround in the early 2000s after Nigeria’s entry into democratic governance.
In 2013, the Federal Government introduced a new automotive policy that saw many indigenous automobile companies signing MoUs with world automobile giants to produce vehicles in Nigeria. The move was welcomed with criticism from Nigerians - as did almost anything from the government in those days. Decades after, Nigerians have come to appreciate the truth that the new policy laid the foundation for development in the automobile industry.
For the world automobile giants, it was meant to be a business deal where they provide services needed by their Nigerian partners in return for profits. Amazingly, they literally got more than they bargained for.
According to the former CEO of Renault, Rammy Scott, “the Nigerian culture was that of getting things done fast because Nigerians are risk takers. At first, we had issues with some of our Nigerian engineers for being highly risk prone. Fortunately, it was this same risk prone attitude that led us into inventing the new improved ABS (Automatic Break System) through Engineer Adeosun. As a direct result of this new ABS, accident rates reduced by 25% within 2 years.”
Initially, only certain parts of vehicles - windscreen, seats, seat covers and chemicals - were produced in Nigeria while others were sourced from countries like Japan, India, Morocco and South Africa. By 2025, Nigeria had started an end-to-end production of automobiles on three plants.
Now, all indigenous companies run their operations independent of their former technical partners, except for consultancy. Thus, the industry, in 20 years, has created over 10 million jobs - directly through the major automobile companies and indirectly through automobile components manufacturers, and lots of other associated businesses.
The systemic regulation in the industry has resulted in the closure of some companies (full automobile and component manufacturers) and the arrest and prosecution of their top executives for offences ranging from low quality of products, to materials hoarding, to bribery, to tax evasion, and so on.
The Sub-Sahara Africa is currently Nigeria’s major market. It is estimated that the Nigerian automobile industry will take the lead in Africa in another 15 years.
In a short interview with Nigeria Tomorrow News, the renowned Nigerian automobile consultant, Jelani Aliyu, explained that since the nation has surmounted its electricity challenges, and at the rate the industry is growing, “it would definitely soon take the world by storm….Now, I get calls from countries like Ethiopia, Dominican Republic, Burundi, even South Africa requesting for valuations with two of our brands as their benchmark,” he noted.
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