A Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) sealed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu with CIG Motors – a Chinese automobile company – has birthed a new Vehicle Assembly Plant which has produced 2000 cars.
The vehicle assembly plant sited in Lagos is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) product and an outcome of the bilateral agreement between Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration and Chinese investors’ community during the Governor’s business trip to China in November 2019.
Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, commissioned the fully equipped automobile assembly plant sited along WEMPCO Road in the Ogba axis of Lagos, coming two years after both partners signed an agreement for the construction of the factory. The facility will be jointly-run by the State Government and its partner for the production of different classes of brand-new cars.
Already, 2,000 units of brand-new GAC vehicles have been successfully assembled in Lagos ahead of the formal opening of the facility. 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.
The accomplishment, Sanwo-Olu said, reflected the “promising synergy” between international partnerships and local talent, stressing that the development underscored Lagos’ openness to investments that would foster job creation, skill development, wealth creation, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
He said: “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. 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 transfer 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. Through 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.”
Sanwo-Olu said 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 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: “They are durable, well suited to 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 a world-class workforce.
Chairman of CIG Motors, Diana Chen, said 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.
Chen said: “We are proud to have the 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 Lagos State.
“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 is built to GAC CKD-factory standards and can match the current dismantled CKD assembly and forward assembly methods.