Members of the Nigerian House of Representatives and a delegation from Defence Headquarters in Abuja visited the Innoson Motors factory in Nnewi, Anambra State. Innoson is the first made in Africa automobile brand manufactured in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the company, Innocent Chukwuma, showed the visitors around the complex and expressed the hope that the federal government will support local manufacturing.
Uche Ngenegbo, a member of the Board, of the Directorate of Research, Innovation and University/Industrial Relationships, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, was also present during the visit.
The Nigerian Airforce announced a partnership deal with Innoson in March to manufacture spare parts for Alpha jets. The company would welcome similar deals for vehicles with the Ministry of Defence and the House of Representatives.
Federal support for industries like Innoson in the form of patronage, access to foreign exchange, subsidies, tariffs on imports and so on would have a multiplier effect on the economy and Nigerian development. More orders for their products means employment, not just at the factory, but other businesses that support production and sales. Further development of car manufacturing in the country would be a springboard to further innovation and development in related fields.
It is also good to see that Nnamdi Azikiwe University nearby has a working relationship with the Innoson factory. The synergy between academia and industry especially around research and development is critical for Nigeria’s industrialisation.