PAN Nigeria to Re-launch Affordable Vehicles

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by Bennett Oghifo

The new core investor in PAN Nigeria Limited, Nesbitt Investment Nigeria Ltd, has said it would re-launch affordable new cars into the Nigerian market.

This is just as they expressed grave concern that the over 50 assembly plants in the country enjoy incentives of the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), known as the Auto Policy, without commensurate investments.

The new Chairman of PAN Nigeria Ltd, Honourable Ahmed Wadada Aliyu stated this at the handing over of PAN, by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), to the core investor Nesbitt Investment Nigeria Ltd, recently.

Aliyu said, “Our biggest concern is the over 50 of assembly plants who have not made any matching investments and are enjoying the incentives of the auto policy at the same time.

“PAN Nigeria will initiate conversations with National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) to enforce the assembly classification and equipment standardisation.”

The chairman said they would inject USD150 million in PAN Nigeria, over the next three years, for retooling and upgrading of the assembly line, support infrastructure and for working capital, added that they would “be appealing to CBN to support us and all other genuine assembly plants so that foreign exchange is made available for our imports.”

On the planned re-launch of affordable vehicles into the nation’s market, Aliyu cited statistics that in 2019 Nigeria imported at least 400,000 used cars (tokunbo) as against 68,000 brand new vehicles, stating that on account of “this imbalance, PAN Nigeria will be introducing new brands of vehicles into the market to re-launch brand affordability in Nigeria, such that Nigerians will have access to brand new vehicles.

“We will also be introducing a robust car financing scheme which will be a collaboration and partnership between our dealerships and a few selected banks. This will be in fulfilment of President Buhari’s wish for Nigerians to afford brand new vehicles.

We thank President Buhari for creating the enabling environment for our company to be able to commit to this huge investment. We hope the president will continue to sustain this favourable environment for more investors into Nigeria.

“We are appealing to Mr. President to fast-track legislation on the National Automotive Industry Development Plan (NAIDP) bill so that National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) can enforce its implementation.”

He described Pan Nigeria as “the number one auto assembly plant in Nigeria” and that it would take the leadership role in engaging stakeholders such as the National Assembly, the Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment (FMITI), Nigeria Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Manufactures Association of Nigeria (MAN) etc.

“PAN Nigeria shall be involved in the activities of the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) committee set up to examine the auto industry.

“We thank AMCON for the opportunity to invest in PAN as the new core investor, and given the status of PAN in Nigeria as the number one automobile company, we are humbled and fortunate to be the company tasked to awaken this huge sleeping giant of immense economic potentials. We are indeed excited to shoulder this task.

“We treasure our human capital and strongly believe in them to drive our visions and aspirations for PAN Nigeria, and that is why we are immediately putting in place an attractive condition of service that will retain and motivate our human capital and also attract the best hands, so as to restore PAN Nigeria to its number one position in Nigeria and within the ECOWAS region.”

He said PAN, under the supervision of the board, would undergo massive restructuring, promising to observe strict corporate governance protocols, transparency, business integrity, efficiency and ethics in all their undertakings.

“As the core investor, we strongly believe in the principle of responsible, responsive and sustainable investments, while we add not only financial muscle and strength, but also social value to the investments we embark on.

“We will not only be providing employment, but we shall also provide economic benefits throughout the supply chain and to local service providers (local content).

“In all our investments including PAN Nigeria, health and safety guidelines are always a priority,” Aliyu said.