What Lai Mohammed told Nigeria’s foremost car manufacturer, Innoson Motors

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited, Chief Innocent Chukwuma (R) conducting the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (M) during the Minister’s facility tour of the company in Nnewi, Anambra, on Monday (5/6/17). 03034/5/6/2017/HB/BJO/NAN

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said on Monday that the policies of the federal government will encourage local manufacturing of products including cars.

Mr. Mohammed said this at the factory of Innoson motors where he was guest of the indigenous vehicle manufacturing company.

He said the new policies will favour companies like Innoson who are manufacturing products in Nigeria.

Read Mr. Mohammed’s full speech below:

Please permit me to start by thanking the Chairman of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd, Innocent Chukwuma, for inviting me to visit this sprawling factory. Upon receiving the invitation, I did not need any convincing to accept to make this visit. Why? Because it is obvious, from what we have all read and heard about the company, that it represents the new Nigeria that we are all clamouring for, a Nigeria that – in the words of President Muhammadu Buhari – produces what it consumes and consumes what it produces.

2. This is why I decided not to come alone, but to bring along at least 25 journalists to be a part of the tour and then report what they have seen to the world. We are not visiting this factory merely for visiting sake, we are here so that we can also tell the world that there is a company that is already putting Nigeria on the global map of vehicle manufacturing, and that company is Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd.

3. Having toured this factory today, I make bold to say that Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd. is a trail blazer in the automotive industry, and a shining example of what Nigeria is capable of achieving if it looks inwards and taps into the boundless energy and ingenuity of its people.

4. True to its name, Innoson is a manufacturing company, not an assembly plant. It is exactly what the brains behind the National Automotive Industry Development Plan have in mind when they rolled out that policy, which is to curtail dependence on imports and ensure the growth of the Nigerian automotive industry, using local resources. Innoson is living up to what the policy aims to achieve: Creation of jobs, conservation of foreign exchange and acceleration of technical development.

5. Recently, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Culture, rolled out the National Media Launch of the Made-in-Nigeria Campaign. This campaign is to let Nigerians know that the Federal Government is not just paying lip service to this whole issue of Made-in-Nigeria. I have no doubt in my mind that this company, Innoson, will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, beneficiaries of this campaign, which we also intend to launch in other parts of the country soon.

6. Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, a major plank of the policies of the Buhari Administration is to diversify the economy away from oil. Sectors that have been identified in this regard include agriculture, solid minerals as well as the creative and manufacturing industries. What we have seen here today is a pointer to the fact that diversification of the economy is real and achievable.

7. The Federal Government’s commitment to diversifying the economy is unwavering. On May 18, 2017, as part of the Ease of Doing Business Initiative, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo signed three Executive Orders. One of the three is called the ”Support for local contents in public procurement by the Federal Government. A key provision of this is that all ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government shall grant preferences to local manufacturers of goods and service providers in their procurement of goods and services.

8. Specifically, it says Made-in-Nigeria products shall be given preferences in the procurement of items including furniture and fittings, pharmaceuticals, construction materials, ICT, uniforms and footwears, food and beverages and….wait for this…. motor vehicles! This will surely boost the patronage of Innoson’s vehicles and enable the company to grow from strength to strength. For Innoson, the Executive Order could not have come at a better time.

9 I have no doubt that this company will live up to the billing. Its record, within just a decade, confirms this: over 10,000 vehicles manufactured, over 7,000 human resources, and markets covering over 25 African countries. Just like this company pioneered the manufacture of Made-in-Nigeria motorcycle and helped to end the dominance of Tokunbo motorcycles, we have no doubt that it will also help us to drive tokunbo vehicles away from Nigeria.

10. Finally, I want to carry out a quiz to know how much our people, especially the journalists accompanying me on this visit, know about Innoson vehicles. Innoson company staff are not eligible to participate in this quiz. Here we go: Name five advantages of buying an Innoson-manufactured vehicle. Yes, who goes first……

11. Well, here are the answers: 1) Fuel efficiency. 2) Warranty. 3) No overheating. 4) Auto-financing guaranteed and 5) You get environment-friendly vehicles. To those who got the answers right or even tried, I say congratulations. To those who could not answer, I challenge you to educate yourselves about Innoson Vehicle
Manufacturing Company, and to spread the good news to the world.

12. Chairman, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your kind attention

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