Automotive Council deploys measures to raise standard of vehicles, spare parts



The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) is collaborating with relevant stakeholders to ensure that motor vehicles and spare parts, both imported and locally produced, that are offered for sale to members of the public, meet the required international quality and safety standards.
Already, the stakeholders committee has commenced series of training workshops across the country where participants are educated on how to differentiate between genuine and substandard spare parts with the aim of halting the availability of the latter, and reducing road traffic accidents.
One of such training workshops was held in Kano recently where speakers from various organisations, addressed over 300 participants. The speakers came from the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Accident Prevention and Rescue Initiative (APRI), Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Toyota Nigeria Limited, KIA Nigeria Limited, and Amalgamated Motor Spare Parts Dealers Association (ASPAMDA).
Also represented were the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), Robert Bosch Nigeria Limited and NADDC.
In his keynote address, the Director –General of NADDC, Aminu Jalal, represented by his Technical Adviser, Engr. Abubakar Dalhat, said “Substandard Automotive spare parts in motor vehicles often function improperly, or fail prematurely causing damages or drastic loss of efficiency to the affected vehicle. The implication of the failure of such substandard safety parts in vehicles is often very severe, leading in some cases to road crashes that could cause loss of lives, and in most cases resulting in financial losses, not just to vehicle owner but also to other road users.”
He emphasised that motor parts, whether those classified as safety items or non-safety items, must conform to international standards at all times, because their sudden failure in vehicles might result in fatal crashes; adding that NADDC in collaboration with SON had so far adopted over 130 international automotive standards for safety and other parts.
The Director General listed other measures being taken by the NADDC to enhance standards in the Nigerian automotive industry, including the setting up of  Auto Test Centres with world class test laboratories for emission, components and materials, which are nearing completion in Lagos, Enugu and Zaria. The laboratories would be commissioned by the end of the year, he said.
According to him, one of the measures is the Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme {SONCAP} introduced by the SON at the request of NADDC, which will make it mandatory that all used vehicles imported into Nigeria to have roadworthiness certificates from their countries of origin.
Jalal also disclosed that vehicle assembly plants and local content manufacturers are being encouraged and assisted to produce good quality items and obtain ISO 9001: 2008 QMS certification. A training programme on ISO/TS 16949:2009 which is a requirement for the implementation of ISO 9001: 2008 QMS for 20 workers of assembly plants in Nigeria would commence this year.
In his paper, Executive Director, Accident Prevention And Rescue Initiative (APRI), Prince Fidelis Nnadi said: “Why are sub-standard auto spare part products still visible and enjoying some patronage? The answer is simple. They are thriving because the average user does not understand their effect; they are thriving because people do not know the risks involved in using such products.  They are thriving also because of the economic situation. A lot of people are very poor in knowledge and purchasing power, but this cannot be a good excuse to buy what will cause loss of lives and property.”
In his presentation on behalf of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Mr. Ebenezer Bako, said 95 percent of the auto parts imported into the country are fake or sub-standard. Their concentration had a dual edge: First, Nigerians were shocked that they have been dicing with deaths by relying on fake spare parts used to replace faulty ones in their vehicles. Second, people were mortified to learn, by inference, that agencies of government upon which we all rely to keep inferior imports away from or shores, including the SON, have largely abdicated their duties, creating in the process a haven for sub-standard auto parts in Nigeria.
Another speaker, Mr. Oye Sholola, submitted, “We have well equipped factories where we produce parts like Exhaust system, Hangers, Bumpers, Aluminum die-casting parts of the engine, door handles, etc and are willing to partner with the original manufacturers to upgrade our facilities if need be to meet their requirements.”


18th Abuja Motor Show to boost investments

Organizers of the annual Abuja International Motor Fair have announced that this year’s edition which will hold at the Eagle Square, Abuja from October 25 to November 1, is targeted at boosting investments in the automotive sector.
Addressing the motoring press last week, the Chairman of the organizing committee, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, said the event which is in its 18th edition, is being geared towards helping the sector assume its rightful place in the Nigerian economy despite the recession in the economy.
He assured that the fair has been packaged to adequately draw government attention to the importance of urgently addressing the current challenges in the sector so as to use it to drive the nation’s economic diversification policy.
Agwu, who is also the Managing Director of BKG Exhibitions Limited, organisers of the fair said that every efforts were being made to ensure that through the event, the sector receives the needed support from the government and the private sector to enhance its’ rapid development. “We are  packaging a show that will showcase all the existing and potential investment opportunities that abound in the Nigerian automotive industry, which we believe are very attractive to existing and prospective investors”, he announced.
Continuing Mr. Agwu said, “With our reach, high powered delegations from the Federal Government, Executive of States and Local Governments; members and leadership of the other arms of government in all the tiers of government in Nigeria as well lots of corporate heads and organisations across the nation have been invited to visit the mundial”.
He disclosed that in addition to the exhibition of vehicles, new segments have added to the fair to accommodate wider interests. They are the Road-Urban Transport and Haulage Summit [RUTHEX] and the Bus and Truck Africa [B & T Africa], which will make the fair a three-in-one event.
A two-day special package for core players in the sub-sectors from both the public and private sectors, RUTHEX will bring together experts from diverse fields in the road transport/haulage and allied sectors across the world to make input into road transport and haulage policies, programmes and implementations. Position papers, solution papers on latest trends, technologies, materials, options, models, case studies and management techniques, are expected to be presented and discussed from October 31 to November 1, 2016.
Special attention will from this edition be given to manufacturers and dealers in trucks, buses, spare parts, accessories, equipment, components, logistics and body works, under the Bus & Truck Africa umbrella.

No regrets parting ways with Ford, says Briscoe

The recent announcement by Ford Motor Company that the 11-year partnership with R. T. Briscoe had ended with effect from June 30, 2016, has drawn the reaction of the dealer, which said in a statement that it does not regret parting ways with the brand.
Last month while announcing that the relationship had come to an end, Ford had assured that as part of its growth strategy, it would continue to sell, service and maintain its vehicles in Nigeria, but only through Coscharis Motors Limited, which hitherto jointly handled the brand with Briscoe.
However, Briscoe’s statement signed by the General Manager, BriscoeFord, Eguaikhide Olorunfemi, disclosed that its main concern is to ensure that the “mutually-sought exit” does not affect customers who purchased their Ford vehicles due to the confidence they reposed  in its {RT Briscoe’s} brand legacy that is over 60 years old in the Nigerian auto industry.
Briscoe stated that it had drawn an exit plan when it became obvious that medium- to long-term profitability could not be quaranteed despite the huge challenges faced in running the Ford dealership in Nigeria to ensure customer satisfaction.
Eguaikhide stated that as part of the transition process, Briscoe has asked Ford to work with them in taking actions required to resolve the “pending challenges facing our customers in Nigeria apart from the casual instruction to direct them to the other dealer in market”.
One of the unresolved issues arising from the parting of ways, is the fate of “our current stock of 60 new vehicles amounting to over N500m and stock of spare parts amounting to about N100m”, and over 90 vehicles belonging to customers currently in Briscoe workshops awaiting warranty approvals and repairs which Ford is officially aware of.
The statement by Briscoe also wants Ford to address the issue of 24 units of Focus cars with faulty semi-automatic transmission systems which the manufacturer has not been able to support former dealer to repair, adding, however that the problem was not peculiar to the Nigerian market.
“It is in the public domain that Ford Focus and Fiesta models are having this challenge globally and as at date, no permanent fix has been deployed for dealers to implement”, the General Manger disclosed, lamenting that as a result of the problem, there are “over nine law suits from some of the aggrieved customers, demanding compensations and these cases have been reported to Ford, but no serious response has been received to date”.
The statement also highlighted the cases of customers who purchased the ESP package from BriscoeFord from October 2015 to June 30 2016 under the promo but were allegedly denied registration by Ford. “These customers currently cannot enjoy the free service programme from the other dealer because of this singular action of Ford…These customers are currently stranded and have been left in the dark as to what happens to their free service promo in the face of these administrative bottlenecks which they should not be blamed for”.
While advising all customers with new warrantable repairs to visit “the other dealer” to enjoy their warranty repairs, Eguaikhide assured “all the customers who purchased their Ford vehicles riding on their strong confidence and faith in the RT Briscoe Brand that we will not abandon them and will deploy all necessary resources at our disposal during this transition period to get their vehicles repaired and returned to them”.