BY MIKE OCHONMA
Every indices is pointing northwards with this year’s annual Lagos International Motor Fair & Autoparts Expo holding from June 6 to 9, inside the Federal Palace Hotel aimed at driving more investment into the auto spare parts and accessories manufacturing in Nigeria as well as boosting aftermarket activities in the sector as well as showcasing the capacities and potentials of the sector to the economy.
Managing director, BKG Exhibitions Limited, Ifeanyi Agwu and chairman, organizing vommittee for the event said Nigeria has all it takes to be and remain the major hub of auto spare parts manufacture in particular and the entire automotive sector business in general, not only the West African region, but in other parts of Africa. It boasts of a huge domestic market and has a large population.
To achieve this purpose, this year’s ehdition of the event will focus on Business-To-Business (BtoB) interface between the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and dealers in auto parts from major auto parts across Nigeria and some neighbouring countries already contacted to attend the event.
According to the BKG boss, “We are aiming at using such platform to see to working business partnerships between them and the OEMs that will lead to them setting up plants in Nigeria to manufacture parts and accessories”.
The event is aiming at spurring the rapid springing up of companies that manufacture these components parts and use it to enhance the policy leading to the establishment of a virile automotive sector in the country.
Agwu advised the federal government to focus more on spare parts manufacturing in place of assembling, adding that spare parts is the place where the real technology transfer takes place.
It involves precision and proper planning more than the coupling that takes place in assembling. This will encourage more Original Equipment Manufacturers and increase employment. He called for a review of the ongoing auto policy to make it achieve the desired ends.
For him, the auto sector is vital as it shows in real terms, the state of the economy, generates much revenue and creates enormous employment. No serious government toys with it.
Auto sector Agwu noted drives the economy and if it is badly affected, other sectors will suffer. It is the artery of the economy and as a result, government should parley seriously with the sector stakeholders to see how it could be made better.
Looking back, he noted that, organizing the event has been very challenging. We are only trying to find a way to push it as a key event in the sector.
We cannot but use the event to draw the necessary attention to the sector. Government should bail out the automobile companies operating in the country.
It is a sector that affects virtually everything. It occupies prime position in the economy. If it is not done now it will in the very near future affect a whole lot in the life of the people and the economy. The challenges of hosting this event is becoming daunting but our drive in continuing is that the sector must not be allowed to die.
Some of the confirmed exhibitors are: Coscharis Motors, 11Plc., [formerly Mobil]-Gold Participant, Michelin Nigeria, WestStar & Associate, Hubei Shuangju Industry &Trade Company Limited, Xgm Corporation Limited, Quanzhou Mingyang Automobile Parts Co., Ltd.; Xingtai Changshuo Mechanical Parts Co., Ltd.; Tantivy Automotive Co., Ltd.; and Shijiazhuang City Kabang Valve Manufacturing Co., Ltd
Urging every stakeholder to endeavour to show up at the event billed to take place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos from June 6-9, 2023; Mr. Agwu added that doing so will be an opportunity for all to show the strength and ruggedness of the players in the sector.-the policy inconsistencies notwithstanding.
“Without re-fleeting, accident rates will increase astronomically; calling on the government to really think deeply about developing this sector. In unison, the stakeholders can put the issues of the sector on the front burners of economic discussion and policy in the country.
“The Autoparts Expo segment of the event is doing well and we are looking at involving a lot of countries in West and Central Africa in the edition. This we have kick-started by extending invites to players in the auto parts business in those countries to visit the fair. We are aiming at using the Nigerian Autoparts markets as the hub of the sector’s business in Africa.
The intention is to make them [players from other countries] to be buying from the Nigerian markets. In no distant future, it will become a big event spreading to other countries in the continent. Nigeria has the resources and capacity to play such a role and it will be a very big disservice to Nigeria and its people if another African country does this ahead of Nigeria.
There will be seminars/workshops going on simultaneously with the exhibition. From June 6-9, 2023 at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, the venue of the event; each of those days that the fair will last is loaded with activities and events that will make this edition remarkably rewarding to the exhibitors, visitors, and other stakeholders,Agwu concluded.