Nnewi is Home to First Made In Nigeria Car

                                       Innoson made SUV

“I have been looking forward to this occasion because it is a special and historic day. I am indeed very proud and delighted to be at this occasion of the unveiling of the first Made in Nigeria car by the Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Company Limited in this industrial city of Nnewi. We say Made in Nigeria car because most of the parts are manufactured here in Nnewi, because there is no one factory today that does everything. I have been reliably informed that today we are unveiling cars that have 70% local content. I am very delighted because Nnewi is the Japan of Africa.

“This town is the home of truly made in Nigeria cars. This is a milestone in the implementation of federal government’s auto policy under President Goodluck Jonathan. I commend you for your continuous investments and commitments which are clear evidence of your confidence not only in the economy but also in the transformation agenda of the President.”
With the above statements, the Minister of Industries, Trade and Investments, Dr. Olusegun Aganga set the tone for the unveiling of the long-awaited Innoson’s first truly Made in Nigeria cars. The sedan cars which come in three variants, IVM Fox, IVM Umu and IVM UZO, were formally launched into the Nigerian.

Aganga commended Innoson’s ingenuity describing him as a genius, leading light and a leader in the auto industry in Nigeria who has the brain of two professors. He said “We are proud of you and I can also tell you that Mr. President is very proud of you. Any time we talk about auto policy, the first question he would ask is “How is Innocent doing? Mr. President is very proud of what you have done and what you are doing. Because of the local content and what he has done; he employs 1700 people in this plant; he employs an addional 4000 + in his plastic industry. In total, he employs about 7200 people. When you look at all the auto industry and in this coubtry today, Innoson is number one in terms of creating jobs. Innoson has the highest local content in the country today. As for affordability, we have the cheapest car in the country today. This is a very historic day for Nigeria. I hope you put it on the internet so that Nigerians can see.”
He said with the fall in oil revenue, Naira value and with a population of 170 million, Nigeria can’t afford not to produce what its citizen would consume. With what Innoson is doing, Aganga said government had been able to save 10% of $6 billion spent yearly on spare parts importation.

Aganga assured on federal government’s support and patronage adding that the new auto policy provides that government buys made in Nigeria vehicles. In order to further pursue the implementation of the auto policy, Aganga appealed to Anambra State government to expedite action in signing a C of O to fast track the establishment of motor spare parts components manufacturing company in Nnewi which currently produces over 60% of locally made spare parts.
Bank of Industry Managing Director, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa said the launch of IVM cars which will enable job and wealth creation and economic growth was a clear indication that the revolutionary auto plan is already bearing fruits. He said BOI was very proud of Innoson as a man of integrity who had obtained facilities from the bank five times and repaid promptly, the reason he was inducted recently into the banks’ Hall of Fame and featured on the front page in its in house magazine.
In his speech, Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) President, Engr. Ademola Isaac Olorunfemi, comnended Innoson saying the launch came “when we have continually devoted time to evolving strategies for the development of sustainable automotive infrastructure in Nigeria.” He traced the relationship between NSE and Innoson to 2011 when the former president led a team on tour of Innosons facilities. At the end of the industrial tour, the company donated IVM 5000 series 15 seater bus to the society for assessment and feedback.  Automotive Engineers Institute, a division of NSE carried out the said assessment and certified it.”

He further disclosed that NSE had monitored steady progress IVM has made since inception in revolutionising the auto industry adding that with 70% local content, the company has demonstrated resilience while achieving a feat like no. With the feat, Olorunfemi announced that Innoson has been admitted into NSEs Hall of Fame as the 19th member in the society’s 60 year history.
NACCIMA represented by its national vice president, Chief J. C. Udeagbara, described the event as a landmark. He called on government to tackle infrastructural challenges, by giving easy access to loans to make local vehicles affordable and competitive.
Former Anambra State governor, Chief Peter Obi, couldn’t be happier and proud. IVM was one of the legacies of his administration to Anambra State. Besides being IVMs biggest customer and providing infrastructures for its take off, his administration enabled the company navigate through challenging moments that almost stifled the vision. In his vote of thanks, Obi, expressing deep emotions, thanked God for making IVM a reality. He paid special tribute to the federal government under President Goodluck Jonathan who commissioned the plant and the Minister, Aganga, who has been very supportive. He attributed IVMs success to Innosons doggedness and determination and assured of his continous support. Obi said beyond being the Japan if Africa, there were so many other industries in Nnewi which if given federal government’s support will generate the expected revenue for government.
He maintained that despite security challenges bedevilling the country, President Jonathan’s transformation agenda would change the economic fortunes of Nigeria. “We were not manufacturing cars before; today, we are talking of buying vehicles from Innoson,” he enthused.

Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke assured on provision of enabling environment and partnership with all well-meaning industrialists by Anambra State government. He said the only way IVM can thrive “is by patronage.”
In his welcome address, Innoson Group Chairman, Dr. Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma said amidst speculations and doubts, he was determined to demonstrate that something exceptionally good could come out of Nigeria. He thanked Governor Obi, the federal government, Bank of Industry as the pillars on which IVM success stories were built. He revealed that the cars would be priced betweern N1.4 million and N3.5 million.
The event which was chaired by Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) President, Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs, also attracted corporate players, business men, banks’ representatives, clergies among many others.

Source: ThisDay

Publish Date: 

Saturday, 6 December 2014