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Dangote takes over Peugeot, lists needed policies to drive local auto industry

Following the official transformation of Peugeot Nigeria to Dangote Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (DPAN), the Acting Managing Director/CEO of DPAN, Engr. Ibrahim Gachi, has opened up on preparations from mass production and what government can do to support local content in the sector.
Speaking in an interactive session with the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) on the return of the car manufacturing company to Nigeria and the automobile industry in general, Gachi gave a roadmap on the future of local auto industry.
According to DPAN boss, “Despite this initial step in revitalizing Nigeria’s automobile industry, a lot still needs to be done if the country must develop a robust automotive industry and also end the importation of used cars in the next two to three decades. What we hope to see is the generation of local used cars ‘Tokunbos’ from the new ones being manufactured in the country.”
“To realize this objective, government needs to ensure policy consistency in the auto industry, which is long-term in nature.
“Those that started the industry over 100 years ago are still in production. For instance, Daimler-Benz, Peugeot, Ford, GM, etc.
“Accordingly, the National Automotive Industry Development plan (NAIDP) should also be long term, consistent and reviewed periodically to give additional comfort to investors.
Continuing, DPAN boss stressed that “The Peugeot brand must enjoy government patronage and its agencies due to its high quality, ruggedness and ease of maintenance”.
“Patronage of locally produced vehicles by the government is a strong signal of confidence in the industry. It also shows government is serious about job and wealth creation and technological development.
He also argued that “The local content development is very much dependent on the volume of cars being produced locally. By increasing this volume, the auxiliary local content industries will be encouraged.
“Policies and programmes the government needs to implement to attract investment in local content in the auto industry include adequate protection and patronage; protection and incentives to local automobile manufacturers; emphasize more on patronage of local industries; enforce a buy-made-in-Nigeria products policy among all tiers of the government, which will translate to increased production activities and job creation for Nigerians.
“We also want government to tighten the borders against smuggling and grey imports and encourage the setting up of auxiliary industries.
“The progression from basic SKD assembly to CKD or manufacturing is highly dependent on growth of auxiliary industries and supporting infrastructure such as electricity.
“Government can encourage the growth of companies with products and services supporting auto assembly (batteries, tyres, glazing etc.), which will improve the local content sub-sector of the Industry.
“Again, government should build human capital by providing the manpower needed to fill operational roles which require in-depth technical expertise.
“For the country to truly fulfill its potential of becoming an auto hub there is an urgent need to develop and build local technical expertise in the auto industry.
Gachi also stressed the need by Federal Government to establish world class Auto Skills centers within Nigeria in partnership with international technical skills institutions and make inputs into the curriculum for engineering in tertiary institutions.