Jonathan Reiterates Commitment On Auto Policy: Welcomes Nissan’s Partnership With Stallion Group
President Goodluck Jonathan said recently in Davos, Switzerland that his Administration is fully committed to rapidly developing Nigeria's automobile industry through the diligent implementation of the country's new national automotive policy.
Speaking at a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of Nissan Motors, Mr. Carlos Ghosn and representatives of Nissan's partners in Nigeria Mr. Sunil Vaswani, Chairman of Stallion Group on the sidelines of the ongoing World Economic Forum, President Jonathan said that a key objective of the new policy was to make new cars affordable to more Nigerians.
"The only way to reduce the preponderance of second hand cars on our roads is to produce good quality cars with affordable pricing locally," the President said.
Welcoming the Nissan group's investment in vehicle production in Nigeria, President Jonathan noted that all investors in local automobile production in the country will have a huge ready market for their products.
"The automobile industry in Nigeria has a huge potential for growth. The market is not just Nigeria, but the entire West African region," the President observed.
Mr. Ghosn applauded the Federal Government's new automotive policy, saying that it would encourage the inflow of investments and technical expertise to boost domestic vehicle production.
The Nissan CEO informed President Jonathan that Nissan Motors plans to roll-out the first made in Nigeria 4 X 4 Utility SUV in April this year using the JV Stallion Group Automobile plant owned by its partners.
It is known that Nissan has partnered with the multibillion dollar conglomerate and regional automotive giant Stallion Group for assembly for its vehicles in Nigeria. Mr. Ghosn and Sunil Vaswani, Stallion's Group Chairman had announced the partnership in October 2013 shortly after the policy was announced.
Mr. Ghosn who said that it was possible to produce two to three million cars in Nigeria annually with the consequent creation of thousands of direct and indirect jobs, told the President that Nissan intends to increase its investments in Nigeria together with Stallion Group.
"We are interested in producing popular cars , totally adapted to the needs of Nigerians," he said, adding that the company also plans to bring its global suppliers to make vehicle components in the country.
President Jonathan also met with President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania who assured him of his personal participation in the World Economic Forum on Africa scheduled to take place in Abuja in May this year.