The Federal Government of Nigeria has begun onsite inspection of local automotive assembly plants, nationwide, as part of the implementation plan of the Nigeria Automotive Industry Development Plan.
This new policy has attracted more investors into the country, even as local investors have equally keyed into the policy.
A statement from Mr. Emeka Ezekiel of the Corporate Communications, Office of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said the minister, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, while inspecting the Peugeot Automotive Nigeria (PAN) car assembly plant in Kaduna, at the weekend, noted that more local and international investors were taking advantage of the huge opportunities offered by the new automotive plan to invest in Nigeria.
According to the statement, the minister said: “I’m greatly encouraged by the facilities I have seen here at PAN’s car assembly plant in Kaduna, which I am told is the biggest in West Africa.
It shows that we are not just starting from the scratch when we say that we want to encourage automobile companies to establish and assemble their cars here in Nigeria, in line with the new automotive policy.
“Also, I have been greatly encouraged by the announcements that have been made by reputable and global OEMS that they are coming to establish their automotive assembly plants in Nigeria. Nissan has said that it is coming to Nigeria, and that its first car will be produced in the country by April. They have already sent their technical team and are working with their local partners in Nigeria.’’
The Managing Director, PAN Limited, Alhaji Ibrahim Boyi, in his remark, said the full implementation of the new auto policy would revolutionise the growth and development of the nation’s industrial sector, adding that PAN had the capacity to assemble over 90, 000 cars in Nigeria annually.
Boyi said, “In the past, this plant used to produce over 90, 000 cars in one year, which was more than the national requirement for new vehicles in Nigeria. Local content was about 40 per cent from about 70 local component manufacturers.’’ He added some of them were in Kaduna, Enugu, Owerri and Lagos.