Sanwo – Olu Commissions Automobile Plants In Lagos

Kunle Adelabu
-As 2000 assembled cars hit market

Chairman of CIG Motor (distributors of GAC Motor in Nigeria), Chief Diana Chen (left) exchanging greeting with Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu (right) during the completion ceremony of the first 2000 cars assembled by GAC Motors in Lagos, held at Ogba, Ikeja, on Tuesday, 24 October 2023.

Two years after Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, Governor of Lagos State, signed a bilateral agreement with a Chinese automobile company, CIG Motors, a total of 2000 cars, the first set to be assembled by the company, have hit the market in Lagos.

The Governor, on Tuesday, commissioned the fully equipped automobile assembly plant by the CIG Motors, sited along WEMPCO Road in Ogba axis of Lagos, where the vehicles were assembled. The facility will be jointly-run by the State Government and its partner for the production of different classes of brand new cars.

Establishment of the Vehicle Assembly Plant in Lagos, was part of the bilateral agreements reached by the Sanwo-Olu administration and Chinese Investors’ Community, during the Governor’s business trip to China in November 2019.

The plant was built with production capacity to assemble 5,000 units of new vehicles yearly in the first phase, while generating thousands of direct and indirect jobs.

Sanwo – Olu described the accomplishment as promising, adding that the development signifies that Lagos is opened to foreign investments.

“Today, we applaud a remarkable milestone of assembling 2,000 brand new vehicles right on Lagos soil, as our vibrant city now hosts a thriving hub of automotive excellence. The opening of this Vehicle Assembly Plant is a glowing emblem of our State’s openness to investments that foster job creation, skill development, wealth creation, and entrepreneurial opportunities”, he said.

“The milestone is not merely a numeric achievement; it’s an epitome of multi-sectoral progress that stands to benefit Lagosians.

“The ripple effect of this investment extends far beyond the automotive sector. It has ushered in a new dawn of employment, providing our industrious youths with well-deserved jobs, thereby, significantly reducing unemployment in Lagos.
“The skill transfers and technical training programmes initiated by CIG Motors, have empowered many unemployed individuals, arming them with the requisite skills to thrive in today’s competitive job market.

“This initiative is nothing short of visionary, increased economic activity, supply chain development and ancillary businesses, wealth is being created and evenly distributed among our people. This synergy will not only provide affordable and quality transportation for Lagosians, but also will open up a plethora of entrepreneurial opportunities for many”, the Governor said.

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Sanwo-Olu said that the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) factory, which spans 35,000 square metres, would raise the quality of life and standard of living, as it would crash the cost of brand new GAC vehicles in local markets, and also reduce dependence on second-hand vehicles imported from overseas.

He said that, although, the plant was built to assemble cars locally, the efficiency would meet international standards. GAC vehicles, he said, were designed for comfort and easy maintenance, adding that, “They are durable, well suited for our roads and climate.”

The Governor pledged his commitment to the growth of the automobile sector through business-friendly regulations, provision of infrastructure and investments in quality technical education to produce world-class workforce.

Chairman of CIG Motors, Chief Diana Chen, said that the assembly workshop was designed in three phases to respond to market demands of GA4, GS3, GS4 and GS8 brands of GAC products.

The full operation of the assembly plant, she said, would raise annual production capacity from 5,000 to 50,000 units yearly.

“We are proud to have Lagos Government as our JV partner. Today, in Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos State, we have a fully automated world class vehicle production line that is tested, verified and fully operational; owing primarily to the successful PPP between our company and the Lagos State”, Chen said.

“I specially commend Governor Sanwo-Olu for his transformational and excellent leadership. The success of this project is a loud message to the global investment community that Nigeria, especially Lagos , is ready for business.”

The assembly plant has production and quality inspection workshops, comprising three automated lines – the Trim Line, Chassis Line and Final Line. The factory was built to GAC CKD-factory standards, and can match the current dismantled CKD assembly and forward assembly methods.

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