Strategic Industrial Zones, Key to Manufacturing in Nigeria - Innoson

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Friday, November 19, 2021 / 9:12 AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: Innoson

 

Nigeria's quest to achieve significant growth in the Manufacturing sector hinges on the provision of purpose-built strategic industrial zones with the requisite enablers like power and access roads.

 

The Chairman of Innoson Vehicle Motors company, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, made this point recently in an interactive session with journalists in Nnewi, Anambra State.

 

He said the emergence of Innoson Vehicles as Nigeria's first-fully indigenous car manufacturer resulted from the government's industrial zones policy.

 

According to him, the administration of Governor Peter Obi developed the Nnewi Industrial cluster, which was pivotal to IVM's take-off in 2007, and its subsequent growth as a company.


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Speaking further, he said apart from the access road to the industrial zone, the former Governor of Anambra state patronized the company to supply 500 buses for schools. He stated that apart from the school buses, Peter Obi also engaged Innoson to develop and deliver 500 SUVs for the traditional rulers.

 

Innocent Chukwuma also added that the current Governor, Mr. Willie Obiano, supported industries in the state by providing a special power line to Nnewi and other industrial clusters, which has contributed to the expansion of the company.

 

Innoson Vehicle Motors has been contracted by the Nigerian Army, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Oyo State, Kwara State,  amongst others, to develop and supply cars according to specifications.

 

The entrepreneur said the Nigerian local content policy is a laudable initiative. It has encouraged him to manufacture cars, with an ambitious goal of penetrating the African market in the next five years.

 

He also joined the call for an enabling policy environment in Nigeria and the review of initiatives like the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) to encourage manufacturers to export their products and make the country a competitive economy.


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The industrialist also noted that IVM has two plants in Nnewi, Anambra state and is ready to partner with other states to invest in more car plants on a win-win basis. He said his goal is to build affordable cars for Nigerians, currently hampered by the foreign exchange rate.

 

Innoson Group currently has a total staff strength of 7,200+ (Direct and Indirect), with the Vehicle Motors subsidiary accounting for  1,700 of the employees, including foreigners.

 

According to the Q3, 2021 GDP growth rate released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS showed the manufacturing sector grew by 4.29%, while its contribution to GDP was 8.96%.

 

The current GDP size of the Motor Vehicles & Assembly sub-sector is N255.29bn.


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