Seeing a Nigerian made car come to reality has always been a bed time story with generations after generations without any glimpse that it will come to be. With all optimism about Nigeria I also considered the vision for by and by. There are too many factors that inhibit Nigerian made goods which could pass for a very good excuse not to invest in the country. With this in consideration we can reason that all odds are stacked against a huge industry such as automobile manufacturing.
Many people have tried in the past but ends up either giving up or blaming the government for failing them. Whatever their reasons are it could be justified. But someone against all odds decided to take the bull by the horn and so far is a success. Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma, the C.E.O of Innoson Group.
Innoson Group Nigeria Limited is Nigerian Automobile Company dating back to 1986 when it started with the importation of motorcycle parts into the country. By early 2000s the company decided to start the local production of motorcycle parts and its assembling in Nnewi in order to reduce the price of motorcycles in Nigeria. The success of this motivated Innoson to go for the bigger picture which is the manufacturing of vehicles.
On the 15th of October 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan officially commissioned the product that the whole continent and the world have been waiting for. The President and other dignitaries including foreign observers was amazed to see the range of products in the company’s show room comprising of 17 and 43 seater buses (luxury buses, midi-buses and mini-buses), pick-up vans and sports utility vehicle all looking as classy as foreign made ones.
The cars unbelievably is argued to be about 80% Nigeria while some argue its 90% made in Nigeria as all the components were designed and moulded by the company while other parts were sourced from the several automotive parts companies in Nnewi, Anambra State Nigeria.
Before the advent of Innoson only government or companies heavily supported by the government could set up such a gigantic plant. For Innoson to come up with this, the company deserves all the support and patronage it can get.
There are roles to be played by the government and roles to be played by Nigerians to ensure that this company is a success.
Roles of Government
1. The Government should play the basic roles of providing a conducive environment with basic amenities such as good roads, electricity and security.
2. The government should grant the company tax holiday and grant the company zero tariff on Complete Knock Down (CKD).
3. The Government and its agencies should evoke Gazette N0 28 of 1993 which states that all the tiers of government should be the first to patronize made in Nigeria products if it could fulfill the basic need required.
Roles of Nigerians
1. Nigerians should be the ones to promote our “First National Car”. This is because many Nigerians will expect the government to perform magic while receiving the news of the cars themselves with skepticism such as “Nigerian made goods are inferior”, thereby demotivating the whole society.
2. Accepting the car comes with patronizing it. An average Nigerian has at least 2 or more cars this means that every Nigerian should have an Innoson car.
1. The company should not think local and expect Nigerians to buy just anything. They should ensure that the car designs are innovative and that classy touch is added to their cars. The company should ensure that the car designs and safety measures meets international standard.
2. The company should think outside Nigeria as Nigerian market may not produce the required success. It should think of exporting to other African countries.
With all these in place, I can say that Innoson motors will be a giant as its country home “Nigeria” is.
Once again, a very big job well done to Innoson Group, you have made Nigeria Proud!!!