The Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah has urged the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)-assembled Auto Advisory Team on Action Plan on Automotive Industry in Nigeria to find a way to bring about workable plan for the proposed Nnewi Auto-Industrial Park in Anambra State within the shortest possible time.
The Honourable Minister made this demand while meeting with the UNIDO-assembled Advisors which comprised of Industrial Park Consultants, High level Technical Advisors, Financiers – African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), Bank of Industry (BOI), Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and National Automotive Design and Development Council, among others. The meeting and the follow-up brainstorming session took place at the Honourable Minister’s Conference Room, on Thursday, 15 February, 2018.
When he was taken through a presentation on ‘Action Plan on Automotive Industry in Nigeria’ done by the Project Manager, V.M. Bhagharas from Mahindra (Renowned Auto-Makers in India) and David Brown of Ecorys, the Honourable Minister was assured that a world-class Auto Industrial Park can be delivered for Nnewi.
The presentation was a response to earlier requests of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for UNIDO to help Nigeria develop world-class automotive project and to develop master plan for the parts, and especially for the development of Auto-Industrial Park at Nnewi, Anambra State.
Dr. Enenlamah repeatedly sought to have the plan being put forward for his consideration to address issues of operators for the three centres – Emission, Materials and Standards which he revealed Nigeria already has.
The Minister also sought to have the Advisory Team address the issue of integration of operators, tenants and off-take for the proposed Auto-Industrial Park at Nnewi. He further sought to know how much of Mahindra’s vast experience will be implementable at the Nnewi Park.
Dr. Enelamah further wanted to know if Mahindra will be able to get some people who will be committed to certain level of use of the proposed Nnewi Park. “For example, do you think you can create a world-class infrastructure for the Nnewi Auto-Industrial Park where none exist and may not be in existence for a long time except you do so?”
To all the concerns raised by the Honourable Minister, the Advisors and Project Consultants submitted that the deliverable from the plan they were putting forward will address the Minister’s concern through Baseline Assessment; Stakeholders’ Consultation; Promotion Strategy to Accelerate the Development of Nnewi Next Generation Auto Park and that the last items of the deliverables from their plan will be by May, 2018.
Satisfied by the explanations given to address his concerns at the presentation, Dr. Enelamah expressed optimism for the realization of the proposed Nnewi Auto Industrial Park Plan especially “With the presence of AFREXIMBANK, BOI”, NADDC, Mahindra, which said it will be committed to some level of investment. He finally urged the advisors to “Please find a way to bring the solution for the project. You must deliver on the plan for us. Stay through the project and help us realize this plan at the latest, by April, 2018. Also, help us bring investors even if we have to put in place profit-sharing”, he said.
Press Unit, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment.