• Friday, February 23, 2024
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BusinessDay

Hope rises for eastern auto market as new investors enter ANAMMCO

Nigeria is set to witness a rash of industry revivals and employment generation, following the regeneration of the country’s moribund heavy duty truck manufacturer, Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO).

ANAMMCO, located in Emene, Enugu, which has been moribund for several years, is being recalled to life by an assembly contract agreement it signed with Transit Support Services (TSS) Limited.

Sequel to the contract, TSS has acquired an assembly line in ANAMMCO and is set to commence full-scale heavy duty and articulated trucks assembly operations next month (October), a move that is expected to see the production of 100 trucks per month in the first phase.

Coming barely one year after the introduction of the new automotive policy by the Federal Government, industry watchers say the commencement of assembly operations at ANAMMCO will lead to the revival of local component manufacturers in areas such as automotive batteries, lubricants, windscreen, clutch cables, mudguards, wiper blades, brake pads, automobile paints, component for tyres, etc.

They add that it will also bring about possible creation of new spin-offs, encourage small and big foundries, as well as the nation’s iron and steel industry, and ultimately lead to creation of thousands of jobs, many of them for several previously disengaged skilled workers of ANAMMCO. 

The TSS/ANAMMCO deal comes on the heels of an earlier deal between TSS and Chinese commercial vehicles manufacturer, Shaanxi Heavy Duty Automobile Import and Export Company Limited, an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), for the assembly of Shacman range of trucks in Nigeria.

Frank Nneji, chairman and chief executive, TSS Limited, told BusinessDay in an interview that the assembly plant was expected to have the capacity to produce an estimated 100 units of light and heavy duty trucks, tankers, lorries, tractor heads of up to 50 tonnes, tippers and concrete mixers for different applications.

The 100 units are expected to be produced on one shift alone, with capacity to double the number on the back of demand and supply.

Already, 12 automotive engineers from the Chinese Shacman trucks building company are expected to arrive in Enugu soon to set up the equipment in conformity with global standards.

When fully operational, no fewer than 3,000 units of trucks will be produced annually at the plant, with likelihood of raising output to 4,000 or even higher.

Patience Mike-Nwosu, an industry analyst, said the commencement of direct flights by Ethiopian Airlines from Addis Ababa into the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, was very critical and laudable in opening up the eastern and south-south part of the country to markets in Africa, Europe, America, and Asia where the bulk of passengers from the zones visit regularly for trade and commerce.

She said this would give immense impetus to development by erasing the monumental economic losses that the absence of direct link to the world had created for the Eastern people and their international business partners over the years.

During his visit to Nigeria last May, Zhong Yi, Shacman manager in charge of Africa, applauded the Federal Government’s new development policy for the auto sector, saying the TSS/Shacman partnership was anchored on the need to provide for the local market, top quality commercial vehicles that had been accepted in over 80 countries across the world.

Yi said they did not come to Nigeria with the usual attitude of dumping vehicles in the market, but were prepared for direct, long-term investments in partnership with TSS in form of cash, technology, equipment and local content development.

BusinessDay had earlier reported that the proposed investments in assembly operations by top automobile dealerships in Nigeria were expected to push up the local manufacturing sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The implication, according to the report, was that motor vehicles and assembly’s current contribution of 0.8 percent to the manufacturing sector would increase significantly, going by the volume of ongoing and proposed investments in the sub-sector.

This would consequently push up the manufacturing sector’s current GDP contribution of 9 percent, which represents about $46 billion of Nigeria’s $510 billion GDP.

MIKE OCHONMA