Chief Molade Okoya — Thomas, an icon of the Nigerian auto industry and top players in the industry have given kudos to the maiden edition of the Nigeria Auto Market Guide, a book which serves as a directory for the Nigerian auto industry.
The prominent industrialist made this remark recently at the formal presentation and launch of the maiden edition of the Nigeria Auto Market Guide in Lagos.
He also commended the editors and publisher of Nigeria Auto Market Guide for their initiative to tap from the opportunities provided by the Nigerian auto industry.
He said: "These three young Nigerians who have been following the sector in the last two decades have in their own unique way contributed their quota to the industry by this work.
"I therefore recommend this publication to everyone who has something to do with the auto industry directly or indirectly, especially companies and government agencies who wish to purchase or change their fleet as well as individuals".
Okoya-Thomas who is also the Chairman of CFAO group in Nigeria stated that "the auto industry plays a very vital role in the economy of every nation. Apart from being one of the major employers of labour, the auto industry plays a catalytic role in the economic development of any nation and Nigeria is no exception.
"With a population of about 170 million people, there is no doubt that the Nigerian auto industry has a big role to play in the development of our country. This is why I feel that the sector is yet to be fully harnessed.
"Though the sector has been bedeviled by many challenges, ranging from poor infrastructure, unstable foreign exchange rates, inconsistent government policies, multiple taxations, to mention but a few, operators in the sector have continued to give their best to ensure its survival.
He expressed hope that "government could address the challenges so as to move the sector forward considering the important roles it plays especially in the creation of employment for our youths.
The Chairman also expressed pleasure at the turn out of captains of industry who graced the occasion including, Managing Director of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mr. C.K Thampy; MD, Globe Motors, Mr. Victor Oguamalam; MD, Hyra Motors, Mr. Seyi Oyinlola; MD, BKG Exhibitions, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Agwu; MD, General Motors Nigeria, Mr. Tony Arenyeka; Executive Director of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo; Group Executive Director, Lanre Shittu Motors, Mr. Taiwo Shittu; Marketing Director, Elizade Motors, Mr. Olu Tikolo and General Manager Briscoeford, Mr. Oseme.
Also present were the representatives of the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Director-General, National Automotive Council, Director-General, Nigeria Institute of Transport Technology, Managing Director, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, Weststar Associates, distributors of Mercedez and Chrysler products and Managing Directors of some blue chip companies. Also in attendance was the Technical Director, Automative Internationl America, Mr. Tim Bruce.
"Your presence here today underscores how seriously you take the industry and your zeal to move it forward," Chief Okoya said.
In his address, the Managing Editor of Nigeria Auto Market Guide, Mr. Frank Kintum, noted that "There is no doubting the fact that the Nigeria Auto Industry has come a very long way.
From the involvement of private investors to the participation of government, the industry has passed through a lot of metamorphosis over the years-importation of different brands, local assembling, marketing innovations etc.
"But you will agree with me that one thing that has been lacking in this industry is the absence of a single compendium that encompasses all the genuine players in the industry. Today, the market is saturated with all kinds of brands, distributors and dealers, but the unfortunate thing is that not all are genuine.
"It is in this regard that the Nigeria Auto Market Guide (NAMG) is published to serve as a reliable directory and hand book for the Nigerian Auto industry".
According to him, the NAMG will, among other things, enable patrons of brand new vehicles deal with the genuine auto distributors and dealers in the country; serve as an avenue for genuine Auto distributors and dealers to market their products; serve as a guide to prospective investors in the industry; and provide salient resource about the industry".