For the first time in Nigeria, history was made as a new International Trade Exhibition, West Africa Automotive Show (WAAS), brought the region’s Automotive Parts and Engine Oil Industry together at the Landmark Center in Victoria Island area of Lagos State.
The 3 days exhibition which had about 100 exhibitors from Nigeria and around the world was attended by more than 3,000 visitors.
The exhibition was aimed at forging new business ties, show off the latest developments and products in the spare parts, oils and services sector.
The Show was organized by BtoB Events Limited, which head office is based in Coventry University Technology Park, Puma Way, Coventry, England.
During an interview with its Managing Director, Jamie Hill at the venue of the Show, he revealed to the Correspondent of NATA News that the main objective of the Show was to bring the region’s automotive parts industry together under one roof; while providing exceptional opportunity for exhibitors and visitors to “network, forge new business ties and show off the latest developments and products in the spare parts and services sector.”
According to him, “Suppliers, dealers and manufacturers will also be able to discuss best practices for the industry and find out more about developing local motor manufacturing industry.”
Speaking further, Jamie Hill disclosed that: “Nigerian businesses are well represented, accounting for about 30 per cent of exhibitors.”
He revealed that: “There will be national pavilions for Morocco and China, smaller groupings from Thailand, Egypt, Tunisia and India and a dozen more countries will also be represented.”
The Expert Exhibition Organiser noted that his intention was “To bring entire universe to trade their products which are relevant in the automobile industry, to network and do business and for Nigeria business to grow.”
When asked for the reasons why he chose Nigeria as venue of the exhibition, Jamie Hill disclosed that: “We have a wealth of international exhibitors looking to bring high-tech equipment to Nigeria for the first time and a large number of local exhibitors are looking to expand their businesses and increase exports to surrounding countries.”
And “Having the largest population on the continent creates a huge market opportunity in Nigeria.”
Therefore, “BtoB has selected Lagos to launch the show as it recognises Nigeria is well placed to become the automotive hub of the African continent with over 11.5 million vehicles on the roads,” he explained.
Emphasising further, Jamie Hill said: “With over 60 per cent of vehicles on the road being over 12 years old, there is a huge aftermarket industry.”
“The need for high quality and affordable spare parts is becoming increasingly important,” for the sector in Nigeria he noted.
Jamie Hill also revealed that: “There is also a real hunger to boost the local assembly of vehicles across the country with the 2013 National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP). With more assembly plants being set up, this again significantly increases the demand for spare parts.”
Therefore, he noted that: “We are committed to supporting Nigeria reach its forecast of having 70 per cent of new cars sold being assembled or manufactured domestically by 2050.”
“Nowhere is good than Nigeria,” he boasted, while happily declaring that: “Nigeria has the population and more people use vehicles” and as a result “There are more brands coming into the country, so there is the need for international recognition.”
Jamie Hill disclosed to NATA News that his selling point was to nurture the largest West Africa Automotive Show and that “we want support to Nigeria and growth country businesses.”
And to support Nigerian companies at the exhibition, the WAAS organisers revealed that they were drawing up a small Conference Seminar to throw the spotlight on local businesses.
“It is great to give the local companies a platform to grow their market share, increase exports and highlight that the Nigerian Original Equipment Manufacturers (NOEMs) are not out of place amongst the global companies,” he said.
He further said that: “At the same time, local entrepreneurs will be able to meet with their overseas counterparts and see what the global aftermarket industry has to offer with a range of products from across four continents.”
In projecting his goal for the next 10 years, Jamie Hill disclosed that: “We want to be well recongnised across the world.”
Glowing with smiles to show his happiness for the huge success the 3 days Exhibition would record while concluding an interview session with David Opeyemi Shodunke, one