The Ibom assembly plant in Akwa Ibom says it will produce 1000 commercial vehicles annually when production begins by the first quarter of next year.
Promoted by Mimshac/Merkavim Technologies, an Israeli automobile firm and located in Itu, few kilometres from Uyo, the state capital, it is expected to create several jobs directly and indirectly.
Valentine Okorie, chief executive officer of the company who made this known while interacting with journalists at the factory said the state governments in keeping with its industrialisation drive acquired the land for the sitting of the plant and also constructed a dedicated power line to feed the automobile plant.
He regretted the delay in the commencement of the production at the factory blaming it on the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which he said stalled many of its activities.
“The plant is about 90 percent completed. Everything you see here is prefabricated and brought for installation, as you can see the electrical, the production area and the spraying area have been completed.
“We have fixed the offices, and I can assure you that in the next six months, commercial vehicles from this plant will be in the market, our target is to produce 1000 vehicles in a year.
“We must commend the state government for looking at sources of generating income for the state, not just the allocation, but, something that can generate jobs and employment for the people.
“The government has assisted us by providing this land free and we have a dedicated power line drawn to the factory”.
He called on the government at all levels to invest in the transportation sub-sector which he said is capable of generating several thousands of jobs and other investment opportunities.
“This is the first vehicle assembly plant in the South-South region, what Innoson is doing as a private investor is commendable, but, we are coming to take the automobile industry to another level, because of the types of vehicles that would be assembled here.
“The government should invest in the transport sector, like this assembly plant now, it has the capacity to generate over 10,000 jobs and other business opportunities.
“By the time we are fully operational, think of people producing oil filters, fuel filters, car batteries, break-pads and even those supplying items to the company, not to talk of direct employment.”