By Alex EnumahÂ in Abuja
Nigeria’s indigenous auto manufacturer, Innoson Motors, is set to export 400 of its made in Nigeria vehicles to Mali, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the auto firm and a Malian company.
This was made known on Friday, when Nigeria’s Chargeâ€˜d Affair in Mali, YaraÂ Abdulsalam, led a team of business delegation from Mali on a visit to Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama in Abuja.
Â According to Abdulsalam, Innoson Motors had during the week signed MoU with Taxi Plus VIP, a Mali based transport company for the expansion of the transport business in Mali.
He disclosed further that the agreement was made possible after the `”Made in Nigeria Products Exhibition” held in Bamako, Mali in 2016 facilitated by Ginco Group, a Nigerian firm based in Mali to show-case Nigeriaâ€™s potentials.
Â “From the exhibition, Taxi Plus VIP approached the embassy that they wanted to import vehicle from China but we told them that we had indigenous company in Nigeria that manufactures vehicles.
“They started talking with Innoson through Nigerian Export Promotion Commission (NEPC) and the deal was later finalised.
Â â€œMali is the centre of Francophone countries which has boundary with eight countries, if this materialise in Mali, it will affect all other countries and will increase Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria,â€ he said.
Responding, the Minister who expressed delight at the news, described the development as the beginning of industrial revolution in Nigeria.
Â According to him, the signing of the deal would enhance job creation and stem down the rate at which youths embark on dangerous adventure to Europe in search of greener pasture.
He said, “So what you are achieving can really be the beginning of revolution in our country, the longest journey has to start from somewhere.
“What you are doing represents a giant leap for Africa because it involved trading among ourselves.
“What I found so interesting isÂ that we are trading at the highest technology level with exportation of automobile, cars and buses to one another”, he stated.
Adding that as the foundation was been laid today, the sky would be the limit for Africa. “It means we have broken that glass ceiling that is holding us down,â€ he said.
Â He commended the Nigerian embassy in Mali for providing the institutional support for the MoU, noting that the action was in line with the recent innovations at the ministry.
“We have many offices around the world and we want to leverage on that to promote Nigerian goods,â€ he said.
The Managing Director of Ginco Group, Mr. Godwin Oguzie, said that the 2016 Made in Nigeria exhibition in Bamako Mali was to let Nigerian Manufacturers know that opportunity awaited them in Mali to sell their products.
Â “We signed an MOU with Innosson Manufacturing Company to enable Taxi Plus increase its capacity to provide urban transportation system in Bamako.
Â â€œWe signed an MOU that they will be getting up to 400 vehicles from Nigeria. This is the first time a country in Africa is exporting locally manufactured vehicles to other country,â€ he said.