Peugeot Automobile is staging a come back to Nigeria economy and seeking indigenous investor to partner with to set up an assembly plant.
The new auto policy of the federal government emphasised domestication which means automobile firms are to set up manufacturing plant rather than mere assembly plant.
Toyota, Honda and some others have embraced the domestication policy and are moving in this direction having acquired lands with arrangement in advance stages.
Peugeot Automobiles Nigeria Limited which was privatised some years ago had technically reverted to government ownership with up to 85 per cent of its shares now held by the Federal Government and the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria
Peugeot’s Executive Vice President for Africa and the Middle-East, Jean-Christophe Quemard said Peugeot was ready to reinvest in vehicle assembly in Nigeria, “provided that the right indigenous partners are found”.
At a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Peugeot boss told the President of the company’s three-phased plan to resume vehicle assembly in Nigeria. The company intends to start with 4,000 cars next year, rising up to 10,000 cars by 2021.
He said the plan also included the exportation of locally assembled Peugeot cars from Nigeria to neighbouring African countries.
In view of this, he craved Federal Government’s support with appropriate policies and actions that would entail higher local content in the assembly of Peugeot cars in Nigeria.
President Buhari reaffirmed his Administration’s commitment to the privatisation and commercialisation policy but stressed that greater consideration would now be given to technical and managerial competence of prospective buyers of government-owned companies.
“A higher premium will be placed on the technical competence and financial clout of bidders in future privatisation exercises to avoid the running aground of privatised companies by ill-equipped and incapable investors.
President Buhari noted that privatisation could only succeed and yield desired benefits “if buyers of government-owned companies possess essential skills and resources”.