Dangote Sinotruck West Africa Limited is to commence the local assembly and production of a full range of commercial vehicles and trucks.
A Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by Bisi Daniels, the spokesperson to the minister, Okechukwu Enelamah, said on Monday the range of trucks would cover heavy duty, medium, light trucks and other semi-trailers.
The statement said the joint venture, which has already invested about $100 million for truck assembly plant, aims at meeting the current demand for these category of trucks for logistics, construction, as well as the food & beverage industries.
The company, which is one of 29 out of 54 licensed automobile assembly plants now operational in the country since February 2018 under the national automotive policy, has an installed capacity to assemble and produce 10,000 trucks annually.
Besides, the company is expected to create about 3,000 jobs across Nigeria when fully operational, as government focuses on boosting economic development across the country.
Prior to the policy, three out of the five assembly plants established in the 1970s had become moribund.
Five years after the policy was strengthened and relaunched, the statement said total installed capacity of 419,190 units and actual production of 8,628 units have been achieved so far, with new investors coming from around the world.
Part of the major objectives of the policy, Mr Daniels said, was to bring back Completely-Knocked-Down (CKD) automotive assembly and develop local content, thereby turning Nigeria into a vehicle manufacturing country.
"Presently, over 14 assembly plants, namely Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited (PAN), Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co. (IVM), Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO) and Leyland-Busan, have started assembling new products since 2014, with new ones established.
Besides, the Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO), which downsized its staff in 2011 due to unfavourable operational conditions, has since been revived, with about 200 of the laid off staff recalled.
"The company is currently waxing stronger and has received several proposals from the Original Equipment Manufacturers interested in establishing local assembly presence," Mr Daniels said.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah said the achievement recorded so far confirms the high potentials of the policy to grow the automotive sector.
He said the policy has generated enormous interest outside the country, with a delegation of international automotive investors, comprising original equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders visiting the country to assess investment opportunities.
The minster, who hosted the delegation recently, said: "We are excited by the role the automotive industry plays in the strategic and catalytic economic development of countries and we are committed to developing the sector speedily to facilitate the economic diversification of the country."
He said part of what the investors were seeking were insight into business opportunities and investment environment in the Nigerian automotive sector; assistance in shaping national and state policy to support industry overall and domesticated manufacturing for the automotive sector.
Others included prospects into the automotive sector & potential for enhanced manufacturing in Nigeria; building relationships and networks with key government and private sector figures as well as deepening structured business links and investment between Nigeria's private sector and South Africa's.