In a renewed effort to strengthen the industrial base in Nigeria, Star Auto Industries Limited, a leading manufacturer of spare parts, has inaugurated a new factory to produce brake pads and linings. The factory, which is located at Navy Town, Lagos is established by the 24 year old company, in line with the aspiration of the current administration to encourage made in Nigeria goods.
According to the Managing Director, Star Auto Limited, Mrs. Ngozi Ukachukwu, the company’s objective is to manufacture brake pads and linings for Nigerians at competitive prices. She expressed the determination of the management of the company to serve Nigeria and Nigerians with the new factory in the area of revenue generation, employment opportunities and manufacturing of quality products.
She said: “Star Auto is going to create jobs; we previously had over 200 staff and we intend to surpass that in nearest future. Our operations are also in line with the current monetary and fiscal policies of the government of the day. About 60% of our raw materials can presently be sourced locally. We expect that our optimal operations will reduce the amount of foreign exchange demanded for the importation of brake pads,”
Ukachukwu further stated that the company is currently partnering with a government agency and a couple of educational institutions to carry out independent research and testing. According to her, these include research in local resin production and replacement of certain materials with local alternatives extracted from Palm Kernels. It is expected that these efforts would yield results and further reduce the company’s imported raw materials component to 20% over the next two years.
The managing director, who disclosed that the foundation of the factory was laid in January 2015, stated that the company has mapped out some business and marketing strategies that would enable it survive the tough economic regime the country is currently undergoing.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Engr. Aminu Jalal, commended the effort of the chairman of Star Auto Industries Limited, Mr. Chidi Ukachukwu and his team, for their consistent and commitment to the manufacturing sector, despite the economic challenges currently facing the country. Jalal, who expressed the desire of the council to partner with the company to take it to the next level, called on Nigerians not to shy away from patronising products made from the company.
“I have been in close contact with Star Auto Industries Limited for years, especially the chairman, Mr. Chidi Ukachukwu, and I know how committed the company is to manufacturing of quality goods. Over the years, Mr. Ukachukwu has explored the manufacturing spaces in Ibadan, Lagos and other places, which makes the terrain easy for him to tread. With the opening of this factory here in Navy Town, I’m convinced that this will go a long way in cushioning the effect of harsh economy in the country as well as bringing spare parts close to vehicle owners,” he said.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, Tunde Zedomi, who was represented by Kayode Akinsowon, had commended the doggedness of Ukachukwu and pointed out that brake pads and linings are part of the major items required in any automobile. “They are precision parts, which must be manufactured to acceptable world standards and their manufacturing ingredients are specially sorted so as to avoid any unforeseen malfunctions of any particular batch,” he said.
On the need for the management of the company to follow the rules and regulations that guides the military environment, Capt. A.E. Olorogun, said Navy Authority abhors embarrassment and therefore called on Star Auto management to produce quality goods as well as promoting healthy and safety environment.