The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) has described the Abuja premiere of the Hyundai Kona electric SUV as a testament to the success of the Federal Government’s automotive policy, which his council has been implementing.
The NADDC director-general, Jelani Aliyu, stated this while commending Stallion Motors for embarking on the project leading to rollout of the first electric vehicle assembled by a plant in Nigeria.
Aliyu identified support from the council’s parent ministry, Industry, Trade and Investment, and the stakeholders for the success it has so far achieved even in the face of daunting challenges.
He stated in his remarks: “I wish to very much thank the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otumba Niyi Adebayo, and Minister of State, Hajiya Mariam Katagum, for their unprecedented leadership and support to the NADDC, which has allowed us to empower our local automotive stakeholders.
“This has led to great moments such as this one that we are witnessing today: the unveiling of a Nigerian-assembled zero emissions vehicle, one which will allow us to safeguard our environment and provide many years of cost-effective, trouble-free usage.
“The Hyundai Kona Electric unveiled today is a strong testament to the achievements of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan, which is an unrelenting commitment and support for the local production of vehicles in Nigeria: As a result of which, as of 2019, over $1b had been invested in the Nigerian automotive sector, with over 400 thousand installed capacity by credible local and international investors, and the Stallion group is a major player in this investment with over a quarter of a billion dollars invested.
“Why is this Hyundai Kona EV unveiling so important? Why is this a significant milestone? Imagine a Nigeria of ubiquitous peace, progress and prosperity, where every man, woman and child is empowered to lead a successful and happy life, we can only get there through industrialization and through leveraging advanced technology.
“Imagine the incredible impact of cellular telephony in Nigeria, that is the power of technology, it came and positively transformed lives. It has empowered businesses and energized the banking sector.
“We intend to use a similar strategy for the automotive sector: that is to empower and promote the integration of advanced technology in the mobility solutions produced and used in the country so as to dramatically enhance the lives of all Nigerians.
“Advanced technology will allow vehicles that are safer, much more efficient, and very low on maintenance costs. For example, an Electric Vehicle has thousands fewer parts than conventional petrol or diesel engine-powered vehicle. So, it has far fewer parts that can go wrong.
“As part of this commitment, we are starting on an EV Technology Transfer Programne in collaboration with three universities: University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto.
“We are starting with the Hyundai Kona EV in this programme and hope to empower the relevant students with technical knowledge of this advanced technology, so they may grasp it and continue to add more value for Nigerian and African applications.
“We have built six automotive training central, one in each of our geopolitical zones: North-west, Zamfara; North-east, Bauchi; North-central, Lokoj; South-west, Oshogb;, South-east, Abakaliki; and South-south, Benin. We shall also leverage these centres in EV technology transfer.
“The NADDC is working on a vehicle finance scheme that will enable Nigerians to easily own and drive these technologically advanced vehicles such as the Kona EV. We have reached an advanced stage of discussion with Jaiz and Zenith banks, and as soon as we receive the necessary approvals we shall deploy the programme.
“Our target is to have 30 percent of all personal passenger cars produced in Nigeria to be electric by 2025. The EV pilot programme will allow us to gather the necessary empirical data needed towards an EV Policy, which will further enhance investment into the production of these advanced technology renewable energy vehicles in Nigeria.
“The NADDC will continue to work with all relevant stakeholders in moving the automotive sector forward. We are proud to be one of the parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and we are very excited with the progress that the Stallion group and Hyundai Nigeria are making.”