Ezeakukwu Emmanuel Nsoedo
It was one of the most significant development in the recent time as the economy of Nigeria has been throttling convincingly in the reverse. The inability to predict key indices in the industrial sector has impacted negatively the ability of many operators in the sector to stay above the fray.
Consequently, a lot of the manufacturers have succumbed and closed up, while those that have managed to survive barely reach significant production capacities to maintain their presence and profitability.
This is why the visit of the Honorable Minister for Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed with the coterie of her office to Innoson Manufacturing Company is a very significant one, and goes a long way to appreciate the role of Innoson Vehicle Company (IVM) in the macro economic need of the country at this time.
Of importance is the presence of the Hon Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, H.E Otunba Niyi Adebayo whose ministry has direct oversight responsibilities for such manufacturing outfits.
The same observations could be made of the Chairman of Board of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), and its Director General underscores the real significant of the visiting strategic actors to the commercial town of Nnewi.
Other key strategic actors were present and endeavored to be heard speak growingly about the magic of unbelievable success they saw at the manufacturing plants with different designated products to achieve optimal production needs of the consumers.
The state government calmly soaked in on the fuss the visiting dignitaries were making about the Innoson manufacturing, as it presents the state government as a cohost of the day’s event. The governor through the Deputy Governor hyped the positive relationship the state had been enjoying with the Innoson group.
It would not be too much to assume that the present government needed a measure of good news to support their economic aspirations even if it was not panning out the way it has hoped. The powerful convergence of the strategic government facilitators exclusive for the Innoson’s sector serves a mutually exclusive benefit for the government and the Innoson’s group.
What must not be lost in the whole affair is the genius of Chief Dr Innocent Chukwuma (OFR) who kept on innovating and adapting modern manufacturing practices to remain a true world competitor. These he had done with out maximizing symbiotic relationship with the government.
The Managing Director of IVM, Barr Dona Okeke and later, Mr Cornel Osuigwe, a close confidant of the Chairman of IVM, recounted the journey of the manufacturing success. Beyond the numerous employees numbered to about 8000, the facility has installed production capacity of 100000 vehicles per annum, and outperforms by far most industries in terms of capacity utilization.
They both informed the distinguished visitors of the 10 brands that Innoson currently produces, but will soon have additional two brands to make the total brands 12 in number.
The climax of the occasion came with the opening of the three additional plants dedicated to different functions which the Minister of Finance and Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment performed the ceremonial cutting of the ribbons.
It was also a pointer to what could be achieved if the relevant government agencies stepped up to identify strategic investors such as chief Dr Chukwuma who received a loan of 4.6 billion naira from the Bank of Industry (BOI); with support from NADDC. It must not be lost to the commotion that the visiting personnel after the commissioning made a change to evaluating who is actually a manufacturer or an assembler, besides making a firm commitment to deepen the relationship with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing company, haven seen things upfront for themselves.