The Nigerian minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, has asked Nigerians to purchase more made in Nigeria vehicles to boost the local economy.
She was speaking at the commissioning of an automobile plant owned by Innoson Motors in Nnewi.
Innoson Motors is Nigeria’s most influential vehicle manufacturer. It launched three new plants in Nnewi, Anambra State from where more vehicles will be manufactured for sales across the country and Africa.
The Minister who was opening the new plant asked more Nigerians to buy made in Nigeria cars to sustain companies like Innoson Motors and grow the economy.
“Mr. President has consistently supported and encouraged local manufacturing in Nigeria to assist in creating jobs as well as boosting the growth of the Nigerian economy”, she said.
“Since the commencement of the extant national automobile development plan in 2014, the automotive sector has recorded several gains for the Nigerian economy some of which includes over $1billion in direct foreign investment, with an installed capacity to assemble over 400,000 vehicles per annum”.
The vehicle manufacturer led by its chairman, Innocent Chukwuma, said Innoson Motors is expanding its manufacturing capacity and is set to turn Nnewi into a manufacturing hub. He asked the Nigerian government for more support and ease of doing business.
“It is a thing of pride that IVM has succeeded in judiciously utilizing the various incentives and concessions from the federal government over the years to become a giant and a leading star in the automotive sector”.
The finance minister said the government is working to tackle illegal smuggling of vehicles and promised to ensure favourable working conditions for Nigeria vehicle manufacturers.
The government has since 2016 been implementing its buy made in Nigeria policy which has compelled its ministries, departments and agencies to buy locally assembled cars to boost the automotive industry.
Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing or IVM is one of the fourteen automotive plants in the country that has employed many Nigerians.