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Abia automobile assembling plant commences production in October

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Abia automobile assembling plant commences production in October

 

ROXETTES Motors, promoters of  the second indigenous Motor Assembling plant after ANAMCO in Anambra state, has said the plant would commence operation in Obuaku city industrial layout, in Ukwa-west Local Government of Abia state by October this year.

Already, work on the the construction of its assembling plant to produce 40,000 units of automobiles per annum capacity at the site is said to be nearing completion and all the equipment needed to start it are expected to arrive Abia State before the end of August 2024.

This is also as Governor Otti has given out a C-of-O for the site and directed the state commissioner for Works to begin the process of building a dual-carriage way from the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway into Obu-aku City to create a better and easy access to the plant.

A release from the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Ukoha Njoku Ukoha stated that the Abia-born Chief Executive Officer of ROXETTES Motors Dr. Kaycee Orji dropped the hint at a meeting with the Governor Alex Otti.

To hasten actions on the project, Dr. Orji came with a prototype of their vehicle model already assembled abroad for the Governor to see and feel the quality of their products.

According to Dr. Orji “ What was a dream a year ago has now become a reality owing to the encouragement from Governor Otti through the provision of the enabling environment and fulfilling every promise he made before his team when they shared their dream of setting a vehicle assembling plant in Nigeria, with him and he(governor) pleaded with them to bring it to Abia.

” When I told you of my plans to have an assembly plant, you (Otti) asked me to bring it to Abia. I am very grateful to Your Excellency for the very peaceful business atmosphere you have created in Abia State.

“Your Excellency promised us land where we would build the assembly plant and in less than a month, you gave us an offer letter and Certificate- of- Occupancy (C-of_O). I have to inform you now that construction is seriously ongoing at Obu-Aku City. We call it Eco-Drive Green Tech Metropolis because we have in mind to do a whole lot of things within that space. The assembling plant will see us rolling out about Forty Thousand (40,000) units of automobiles per annum and seventy percent (70%) of the production would be mainly innovative products like electric vehicles and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) driven vehicles’.

“The world is migrating to sustainable energy and we don’t want to sit back and watch the world move and Nigeria and, Abia State, in particular, are not doing anything. We considered Abia as the most favourable environment to start because of the current leadership in the state. So, we are going to start assembling electric vehicles in that space, this year.

“Secondly, we are going to have another production- line there, which is a CNG conversion plant.

“What it means is that we are going to have the capability to convert any Vehicle to CNG. We are going to have the CNG kits installed there and then the CNG cylinders installed so that people can run on cheaper and cleaner energy.”

He described Obu-aku City as a well planned and strategic place to do business with the natural gas lines there, as an added advantage for smart companies to do their businesses.

In the words of the Abia-born enterpreneour, “We have produced our CNG generators in China and they will be leaving China next month so that we don’t bother or stress the already crowded demands on the national grid since we already have gas lines that pass through that location.”

Dr. Orji said that they are going to employ over one thousand Abians by the time they kick- start their operations.

Responding, Governor Otti advised entrepreneurs, especially those involved in plants/ manufacturing to engage in backward integration so that they don’t need to produce all those parts.

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“Somebody can produce brakes somewhere and someone else can produce rubber somewhere,” he said.

He welcomed and thanked Arc. Dr. Orji for coming to update him on the level of progress made on the project. He was delighted to hear the cheering news that the car assembly plant will soon start operation and expressed the hope that they will move from assembling to full production.

Said Otti: “We love that the vehicles are assembled here but we will be happier if we begin to manufacture them here. We understand how manufacturing happens. The way car manufacturing happens is that you will still have to buy some parts from somebody else. If you want to sit down and manufacture everything from beginning to end, then you cannot do it.

“But the important thing is that you couple all the things together in a particular location. You have an emblem that says this vehicle is manufactured in Nigeria. For me, that’s the joy. The other thing that is also important is local content. So, when you take a complete vehicle and you look at the component parts, where are they So, doing what we call backward integration is very necessary.. Somebody can produce brakes somewhere and someone else can produce rubber somewhere”.

“We want to get to a level where you can replicate some of those things in Aba. Our people are very creative. Just show them what to do. They may not finish it in the way they can finish it in China, but a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”.

“As I have instructed the Commissioner for Works, moments ago, we are going to build a dual carriage way into the city from the Express”.

On the Equity share capitals, Governor Otti declared, “I know we worked out the equity of the State on evaluation of land, which I believe is less than two percent. So, in due course, we will want to look at it and see if we can increase our equity to use it to support you.”

As part of support for the assembling plant, Governor Otti told Dr. Orji that the State government is placing orders for some of the vehicles.

On the way forward for Abia and Nigerian economy, Otti barred his mind thus: ”We strongly believe that a major part of our problem in Nigeria is that we are almost 100% import dependent. Virtually everything we consume today is imported, the pressure that puts on foreign exchange is enormous. By the time we encourage local production; eat what we produce and produce what we eat, I believe that the economy will be a lot better and stronger”.

The governor encouraged other people who have similar big dreams to come to Abia State, assuring that the State will support them to realise their dreams.

 

 

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