By Emmanuel Elebeke
Nnewi – The Federal government has extolled the doggedness of Innoson Motors in vehicle manufacturing and promotion of made in Nigeria products, despite the daunting challenges, saying that the company has put Nigeria on the global map of vehicle manufacturing.
The minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed gave commendation on Monday during a factory tour of the Innoson Motors manufacturing plant in Nnewi.
With the success and achievements so far achieved by the company, the minister said Innson ‘represents the new Nigeria that we are all clamouring for, a Nigeria that – in the words of President Muhammadu Buhari – produces what it consumes and consumes what it produces.’
“We are not visiting this factory merely for visiting sake, we are here so that we can also tell the world that there is a company that is already putting Nigeria on the global map of vehicle manufacturing, and that company is Innosn Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd.
“Having toured this factory today, I make bold to say that Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd. is a trail blazer in the automotive industry, and a shinning example of what Nigeria is capable of achieving if it looks inwards and taps into the boundless energy and ingenuity of its people.
“True to its name, Innoson is a manufacturing company, not an assembly plant. It is exactly what the brains behind the National Automotive Industry Development Plan have in mind when they rolled out that policy, which is to curtail dependence on imports and ensure the growth of the Nigerian automotive industry, using local resources.
“Innoson is living up to what the policy aims to achieve: Creation of jobs, conservation of foreign exchange and acceleration of technical development,” he said.
Recall that the Federal government recently, through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Culture, rolled out the National Media Launch of the Made-in-Nigeria Campaign.
According to the minister, ”the campaign is to let Nigerians know that the Federal Government is not just paying lip service to this whole issue of Made-in-Nigeria. I have no doubt in my mind that with this company, Innoson, will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, beneficiaries of this campaign, which we also intend to launch in other parts of the country soon.”
Mohammed who described Innosson Motors as a pointer to the realization of diversification plan of government called on state governments and Local Government Councils to key into the Made-In-Nigeria campaign by patronising Innosson motos and other local manufacturers.
Her also affirmed that the Federal government’s commitment to diversifying the economy is unwavering and also urged other tiers of government to key into the new executive order of Ease of Doing Business Initiative recently signed by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
A key provision of this is that all ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall grant preferences to local manufacturers of goods and service providers in their procurement of goods and services.
Specifically, it says Made-in-Nigeria products shall be given preferences in the procurement of items including furniture and fittings, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, ICT, uniforms and footwear, food and beverages and Innoson motor vehicles.
Speaking the advantage of Innoson motors over other brands, the minister said Innosson Motors have fuel efficiency advantage; warranty; no overheating; auto-financing guaranteed and environment-friendly.
“I have no doubt that this company will live up to the billing. Its record, within just a decade, confirms this: over 10,000 vehicles manufactured, over 7,000 human resources, and markets covering over 25 African countries.
“Just like this company pioneered the manufacture of Made-in-Nigeria motorcycle and helped to end the dominance of Tokunbo motorcycles, we have no doubt that it will also help us to drive tokunbo vehicles away from Nigeria.
“I challenge you to educate yourselves about Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, and to spread the good news to the world,” he added.
In his address, the Chairman of Innoson Group, Chief Innocent Chukwuma said the company had not been able to attain its full potentials due to low patronage, particularly the state and Local government Councils.
According to him, the Anambra state government has procured only 11 vehicles; IMO 400; Ebonyi 300 in the last one year with lesser patronage by other sister states.
With increased patronage, Chukwuma said, the company will not only take the manufacturing process from 60 per cent to 100 per cent by establishing engine manufacturing plant in Nigeria, which he said remains the only component he is currently importing from abroad.
He dismissed what he called the erroneous believe the company only assembles vehicles, but explained that the factory manufacture all forms of vehicles from the scratch to finish as is evidenced with the work going on in the factory.