Finance Minister Visits Jet Motor Company, Reveals Govt’s Plan for Local Vehicle Manufacturers

Bennett  Oghifo

Nigeria’s capacity to meet the growing demand for environmentally-friendly vehicles was showcased Friday in Lagos, as Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, embarked on a tour of one of the foremost indigenous electric vehicle manufacturing plants, Jet Motor Company.

The visit is seen as part of efforts to engage with local producers, lay out government’s local industry support plans, and build a broad-based partnership with key industry leaders towards accelerating expansion of local capacity, job creation, and economic growth.

The minister, who was accompanied on the tour by the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Joseph Osanipin, was received by the Acting CEO, Engineer Derek Ewelukwa, and Sanjay Rupani, Director Sales.

Also present was the visionary founder, and Chairman of Jet Motor Company, Chidi Ajaere.

Speaking after his tour, the minister thanked his hosts, and commended them for their contribution towards deepening local automotive productive capacity. He assured them of continued government support, noting that the government was committed to an ever-improving business climate.

“I am excited about what you are doing. Indigenous manufacturers are the true heroes of the Nigerian economy. They bear potent risks, make substantial investments, create jobs, and support the real economy. It is on their backs that the Nigerian economy of our dreams will be built. We cannot take this for granted”, he noted.

He added that, “I am particularly excited when I see the efforts of visionaries and future-thinking business leaders bearing fruit. The clean energy space is the future of mobility and your dogged commitment to its development in Nigeria and Africa is to be commended and adequately supported. I want to assure you that in keeping with our bold vision of exponentially growing the Nigerian economy, we will provide valuable support to local producers like yourselves for the good of Nigerians, today and the future”.

On his part, the NADDC boss expressed his pride that a truly indigenous company was accomplishing the vision of the agency through local automobile manufacturing.  He acknowledged their strides, and promised increased support to unlock even more opportunities and successes. “We have seen your efforts and are truly proud of all you are accomplishing in the market. This is what we have always worked towards, and even much more right now with our renewed efforts under this administration. Sustainable mobility is the future, and we will work closely with you and other indigenous automotive manufacturers to achieve this for Nigeria.”

He praised the company for its expanded focus on CNG, and urged it to deepen its investments in this area to serve the large Nigerian market in light of higher petrol costs owing to subsidy removal.

Welcoming Edun to the company, Ewelukwa  expressed his appreciation to the minister and his team for the honour done the organization by their visit, and thanked the Tinubu administration for its intentional efforts geared towards supporting local industries, particularly the automotive sector, through direct interventions and the programmes of the NADDC.

He reiterated the bold and ambitious vision of the company to reshape Nigeria and Africa’s automotive sector through the introduction of future-forward, technology-powered clean mobility alternatives.

He said: “Our vision from the very beginning was clear. We wanted to be truly homegrown, to be truly indigenous; and we have achieved this. We were keen on redefining the mobility space in Africa, leveraging on technology and new thinking. We know that the future of mobility is clean and cutting-edge technology-driven, and we have long been committed to making the right investments towards becoming the reference point for this in Africa. So far, we made huge gains and are motivated to do even much more. The future is indeed sustainable mobility, and we are proud to be strategically positioned to drive it.”

Speaking further on Jet Motor Company, Ewelukwa praised the enabling environment being enjoyed by the company as it innovated and built electric vehicles for the country. He stated that even though the company was Nigerian through and through, it was built with global excellence in mind, adding that it was designed to be one of Nigeria’s best reference points for the rest of Africa and the world. “We are proud to be an indigenous company. We have always wanted to prove that it was possible to do it here. To build here. To create value here. To export value from here. This is what we are doing,” he noted.

He added that, “Since its founding in 2018, Jet Motor Company has been providing affordable and eco-friendly transportation options for Africa. We invest in the production of a wide-ranging variety of electric vehicles, from passenger to utilitarian vehicles— ambulances, military vehicles, and delivery vans. We have delivered fully electric cargo and passenger vehicles to different clients within Nigeria’s diverse market.”

Ewelukwa revealed that the company had recently begun substantially investing in the production of CNG vehicles, in line with the policy direction of the Tinubu administration against the backdrop of reforms impacting the local energy market. “We are an agile company; we continue to adapt to new realities and expand our offerings within the clean energy niche of the mobility market,” he said. 

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