Left to Right: Mr. Obinna Oluge (Deputy General Manager After-Sales CIG Motors) Mr. Mustapha Tunde Mukaila (Director of Regions, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) HE Mr. Cui Jianchun (Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria), Mr. Linus Idahaso (Vice-President of CIG Group), when the Ambassador visited the GAC Auto Assembly plant in Ogba, Lagos on Friday
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Cui Jianchun has led a diplomatic delegation consisting of a representative of the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs – Mr Mohammad Tunde Mukaila, amongst others, to the newly commissioned GAC Motor Automobile Assembly Plant, which is a JVA between the Lagos State Government and CIG Motors Co Limited.
Before this partnership, the Nigerian automobile industry had been riddled with growth stagnation, constantly plagued by fluid policies governing investments in this sector; both in terms of fiscal and importation policies. These and other numerous factors have impaled the growth of this vibrant industry in Nigeria, giving way to the despicable substitute – the importation of second-hand vehicles other-wise known as Tokunbo into the Country.
This menace has seen the defacing of major cities across the entire nation as two third of the vehicles on the road are old and rickety, having manufactured dates of as far back as 1990.
According to the company, CIG Motors has carefully studied the automobile market and met with key stake holders to partner, with the purpose of reviving the sector, through the establishment of a world class Automobile assembly Plant in Nigeria; that will annually produce a minimum of 5,000 vehicles to meet market demands, and redefine the sector.
It would be recalled that this Partnership was strategically sealed in Guangzhou, between the Chairman of Choice International Group – Chief Diana Chen, The Executive Governor of Lagos State – Mr Babajide Sanwo Olu, and Mr Zeng Qinghong – The Chairman of GAC Motors Group, in December 2019.
In July 2021, the project was locally approved for execution and construction commenced in October 2021. The project industrial area covers a total of 35,000 square meters, and the automobile production line covers an area of 4,800 square meters.
The installation of the plants and machinery for the production line took only seven months to complete, and was supervised by world class engineers, with local employee benefiting from hands on vocational training of the processes involved.
A Cross session of officials of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CIG Motor/GAC Motor and Diplomats, when the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Cui Jianchun, visited the GAC Auto Assembly plant in Ogba, Lagos on Friday
CIG stated that “this reaffirms the credibility and commitment of CIG Motors towards the sustainable economic development of the nation. Aside meeting present needs of modern automobile solutions for the citizenry, GAC Motors has futuristics plans of placing Nigeria amongst key players in the global campaign of Eco-Friendly production, by veering into production of electric vehicles with dual usage of CNG.
“This will further contribute to the Nations strategy to run a non-oil economy in the near future, as well as boost foreign exchange policy. The current Assembly plant is projected to double production within five years, creating thousands of jobs in the process, while serving as a vocational training institute for mechanically inclined young Nigerians who seek to pursue a career in mechatronics”.
The delegation was overly impressed by the progress and automation of the factory and commended key players of the partnerships not to relent in their vision for industrialization of the automobile industry.
Amb. Cui reaffirmed the position of the China’s willingness to provide support to such innovations as fulfillment of her “China-Africa bilateral industrial capacity cooperation” pact with Nigeria.
On its long term vision for the country, the company added that “CIG Motors has proven over again that it is here to stay, here to serve, and here to make Nigeria better by driving the Nation further into industrialization and economic stability”.