Please permit me to start by thanking the Chairman of Innoson Vehicle
Manufacturing Company Ltd, Chief Dr. 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 shinning 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
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 regards
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 18th 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