Nigerian auto manufacturing company, Innoson Motors, has concluded plans to begin the export of made-in-Nigeria cars to Mali. The Charge‘d Affair of Nigera in Mali, Yara Abdulsalam, confirmed the development by stating that Innoson Motors had signed an MoU with a Malian firm to export 400 locally made vehicles to Mali.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has described the development as a big boost to the Made-In-Nigeria project and the beginning of industrial revolution in the country.
Abdulsalam made this announcement on Friday in Abuja when he led a delegation of businessmen from Mali to visit the minister. He said that during the week, Innoson Motors signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Taxi Plus VIP, a Mali-based transport company for the expansion of transport business in that country.
He observed that the development was the outcome of “Made-in-Nigeria products exhibition” held in Bamako in 2016, adding that the exhibition was facilitated by Ginco Group, a Nigerian firm based in Mali to promote Nigeria’s potentials.
Abdulsalam stated that, “from the exhibition, Taxi Plus VIP approached the embassy that they wanted to import vehicles from China but, we told them that we have indigenous company in Nigeria that manufactures vehicles.
“They started talking with Innoson through Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and the deal was later finalised. Mali is the centre of Francophone countries and has boundary with eight countries.
“If the MoU materialises, it will positively affect all other countries and will increase Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria.”
Reacting, Geoffrey Onyeama expressed delight at the development, describing it as “the beginning of industrial revolution in Nigeria.’’
He stated that it was a good development that would boost job creation, while reducing the rate at which youths embark on dangerous adventures to Europe in search of greener pasture.
“So, what you are achieving can be the beginning of revolution in our country; the longest journey has to start from somewhere. What you are doing represents a giant leap for Africa because it involved trading among ourselves.
“What I found so interesting is that we are trading at the highest technology level with the export of automobile, cars and buses to one another.
“As we are now laying the foundation, the sky is the limit for Africa; it means we have broken that glass ceiling that is holding us down,” he said.
Onyeama commended the Nigerian embassy in Mali for providing the institutional support for the MoU, noting that “This is what the ministry wants Nigerian embassies around the world to be doing; to serve as small hub to promote trade relationship.’’
He mentioned that one of the ministry’s goals was to be a hub to promote Nigerian export. “We have many offices around the world and we want to leverage on that to promote Nigerian goods”, he said.
Mr. Godwin Oguzie, Managing Director of Ginco Group, stated that the 2016 Made-in-Nigeria exhibition in Bamako was to enable Nigerian manufacturers realize that opportunity awaited them in Mali to sell their products.
He said he led Taxi Plus VIP to sign the historic MoU with Innoson Motors, a deal that will see the company export 400 vehicles to Mali.
“We signed an MOU with Innoson Manufacturing Company to enable Taxi Plus increase its capacity to provide urban transportation system in Bamako.
“This is the first time a country in Africa is exporting locally manufactured vehicles to another country,” he observed.
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