Olawale Ajimotokan in Nnewi
The Chairman of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd (IVM), Innocent Chukwuma, has appealed to the federal and state government institutions to increase the level of patronage of the vehicles manufactured by the indigenous company.
He made the plead on Monday when the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, visited the IVM plant in Nnewi, Anambra State in support of the Executive Orders signed on May 18 by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
“Patronage is just increasing gradually, but the company needs more from government institutions and agencies to help an indigenous company like ours increase its capacity and boost employment opportunities for our citizens,” Chukwuma said.
The member of the Industrial Policy and Competitive Advisory Council, similarly called on South-east governors to embrace the company and stop the purchasing foreign-made vehicles. Since it began operation in 2009, IVM has manufactured about 11,000 vehicles for local and 25 African countries.
Over 7,000 Nigerians are employed at the plant in Nnewi and Enugu.
Mohammed described the company as a trail blazer in the automotive industry and a shinning example of what Nigeria is capable of achieving by tapping into the boundless energy and ingenuity of its people.
“It takes the vision, courage and commitment for anybody to join the league of not motor vehicle assemblers, but manufacturers. This will conform with the National Automotive Industry Development Plan and curtail dependence on imports and ensure the growth of the Nigerian automotive industry, using local resources,” Mohammed said.
He promised that government would support the initiative by providing an enabling environment.
The minister said IVM has demonstrated that the creation of jobs, conservation of foreign exchange, acceleration of technology development and diversification of the economy envisaged by the Executive Order is realistic.
He said he has no doubt that IVM would also help us to remove fairly used vehicles from Nigerian roads, while he tipped Innoson to be one of the beneficiaries of the Made-in-Nigeria campaign to be launched in other parts of the country soon.