Chairman of Innoson Group of Companies, Dr. Innocent Chukwuma

In line with the federal government’s desire to aggressively drive the patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods, Sterling Bank Plc said it has taken a bold step to champion the use of locally manufactured goods and services by going into a partnership with Innoson Motors to finance the purchase of locally made vehicles produced by the company.

According to the partnership agreement signed between the bank and Innoson Motors Limited in Nnewi recently, Sterling Bank will provide auto finance to prospective customers willing to acquire any brand of Innoson Motor vehicles.

The bank’s Executive Director, Finance and Strategy, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, in a statement issued, weekend, explained that the partnership was informed by the current economic headwinds and exchange rate volatility fuelled by the fall in crude oil prices. This, he pointed out had brought to the fore, the need to diversify the nation’s revenue base and support the manufacturing sector through the patronage and use of locally made products and services.

“The country’s dependence on oil exports for foreign exchange and the global oil sector downturn driven by the falling oil price has led to near economic recession in the country and has negatively impacted other sectors with prices of imported products rising significantly.

“For the country to navigate the current headwinds, there is an urgent need to diversify the economy and empower the manufacturing sector of the country. But local manufacturers will not thrive if they are not patronised by Nigerians. This is why we have entered this partnership with Innoson,” he added.

Speaking further on the development, the bank’s executive director emphasised the value of the partnership to all the parties involved.

He added: “Individuals will be able to access high quality brand new cars at affordable prices; the Innoson Brand enjoys more patronage from Nigerians; the Bank drives it support for locally manufactured products thereby boosting the value of the Naira while fulfilling its one-customer proposition, and the government benefits from the conservation of foreign exchange.”

Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company (IVM), is the premiere private vehicle manufacturing company in Nigeria. The indigenous company, headquartered in Nnewi, Anambra state, was commissioned in 2014 and has since gone on to produce several range of vehicles from Trucks, SUVs to mini-buses.

The Chairman of Innoson Group of Companies, parent company of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company (IVM), Dr. Innocent Chukwuma, while speaking at the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), described the partnership as “a welcome development and indicated that the company was committed to producing premium quality automobiles as it serves the Nigerian market.” Other products from the Innoson Group include plastic products like chairs, drums, jerry cans and motorcycle parts.