Innoson Group Targets 7,000 Jobs
By Dipo Olowookere
Nigerian car manufacturing firm, Innoson Group, has entered into a partnership deal with a Chinese consortium to invest about $1 billion in the information and technology sector. The deal is expected to provide about 7,000 jobs for the youths.
A part of the partnership is a $400 million investment in Nigeria’s DSO project Digital Satellite TV Station and an additional $600 million covering other important sectors.
In a statement to newsmen by the spokesman of Innoson Group, Mr Cornel Osigwe, it was disclosed that the multi-billion investment deal will bring about production of Broadcast Digital Set-Top-Boxes.
Mr Osigwe also disclosed that the consortium of Chinese Foreign Investment Group will be received on Monday (tomorrow) by the Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo.
He said the consortium would be led by Liu Baoju, a Deputy Minister of Communist Party of China in Shandong Province, who is equally the Chairman of Shandong Broadcasting Group and Shandong Cable Interactive Service Ltd, the world’s biggest TV operators and Huang Gang, Senior Vice President of Inspur Group and President of its Overseas Headquarters.
Mr Osigwe gave the analysis of the investment deal as:
- Financial foreign investment credit facility of $300million USD for local production and supply of a minimum five to eight Million (5-8million) Set-Top Boxes to support the Federal Government of Nigeria Digital Switch Over (DSO) project being handled by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission in order to meet the deadline switch of June 2017.
- Financial foreign investment of $100million USD to establish the latest technology and biggest DTH (Direct-To-Home) Digital BING Television Station across all states of Nigeria.
In addition, the above two immediate investments are being followed by another $600 million USD investment in which negotiations is almost fully concluded with our strategic partners to cover the following areas of Nigerian economy:
- Smart City (CCTV camera) using cloud computing total solution that is known as E-Policing to cover the whole landmass of Nigeria.
- Cloud Computing Total Solution on Taxation with IT applications for such institutions as Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other taxation agencies for seamless and stress-free tax collection mechanism.
- E-Education IT Solutions with big data centres for all Federal Universities and Polytechnics in the country
It is also interesting to note that the Nigerian company bringing in and partnering with these foreign investors is the Innoson Group, Nigeria’s first indigenous and largest local manufacturer of automobiles and the largest plastic-processing manufacturer in West Africa.
The company as a trailblazer has decided to be part of history as one of the companies that will take Nigeria into the digital world. In order to keep up with its trend of opening new grounds, it has decided to diversify into Information Technology (IT) and the Multi Media Sector with the plan to launch a Satellite Digital TV operation and other services in partnership with Shandong Broadcasting Group and Shandong Cable Interactive Service Ltd China with technical support from Inspur Group Co Ltd, China.
This foreign investment is coming at a time when Nigeria is in dire need of foreign investors to boost the economy. The focus point of the investment will go a long way to boost the economy of Nigeria with the following as attendant benefits:
- Assist the Federal Government to meet its June 2017 deadline for the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting services.
- Establishment of 40 lines of production and manufacturing complex for making Broadcast Digital Set-Top-Boxes, the biggest of its kind in the whole of Africa.
iii. Job creation of over 5,000 jobs in the Innoson Group Set-Top-Box manufacturing complex in Nigeria within the next two years.
- Job creation of about 2,000 jobs by Innoson BING Digital DTH Television operation across Nigeria with the first two years.
- Nigeria will become the manufacturing hub for Set-Top-Box in Africa with the attendant benefit of earning foreign exchange through exports from Innoson Manufacturing Complex.
- Innoson Group would put into use its biggest plastic industry at Enugu by locally manufacturing most of the plastic components of the Set-Top-Box thereby saving cost.
vii. Another important benefit is that BING TV Project will engage the almost under-utilised Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) situated at Obasanjo Space Centre in Abuja with its numerous benefits of saving foreign exchange by buying into Nigeria available goods and services, instead of engaging foreign satellite and transponders as all our other competitors here in Nigeria are currently doing.
viii. Providing adequate National security using cloud computing technology to secure our country against insurgency, militancy, kidnapping and all other forms of dangerous crimes.
Why Adoption of Electric Motorcycles is Slow in Nigeria, Others—Report
By Adedapo Adesanya
A new report has shown that more than 90 per cent of electric motorcycles sold in sub-Saharan Africa are not built for African conditions as the continent battles infrastructural challenges.
The Charging Ahead – Accelerating e-mobility in Africa Report from the Powering Renewable Energy Opportunities (PREO) programme forecasts that electric motorcycles are set to be a dominant force in sub-Saharan Africa’s sustainable mobility transformation, but continued investment in start-ups tackling barriers across the value chain will be critical to maximising the full potential.
It was revealed that Sub-Saharan Africa, where Nigeria belongs, remains largely reliant on internal combustion engine (ICE) motorcycles for transportation and employment opportunities. Infrastructural challenges force underdeveloped regions to rely on two-wheeler vehicles.
The reliance on ICE motorcycles comes with relatively high running costs and long-term environmental implications from the use of fossil fuels.
The report showed that as concerns around fossil fuel-powered vehicles grow, opportunities for alternative solutions that will decrease carbon emissions remain, adding that the electric motorcycle sector presents a viable solution to the challenges caused by high-emitting, costly ICE vehicles.
The report outlines the market opportunity for e-motorcycles to become a driving force in the African e-mobility sector as, according to an analysis by Mordor Intelligence, the market for motorcycles in Africa was worth $3.65 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow to $5.07 billion by 2027.
However, to accelerate progress in the e-mobility sector and meet the demands of a rapidly expanding customer base for two-wheelers, there are a number of challenges that need to be addressed. These include improving the availability of durable hardware, reliable charging infrastructure, and access to high-quality battery solutions.
Also, poor grid infrastructure means baseline electricity access is not reliable enough to support renewable battery recharge networks, and the electricity supply is weak.
In addition, high-quality battery suppliers prioritise global buyers able to order at volume, which leaves small start-ups out of the picture.
Speaking on this, Mr Jon Lane, PREO Programme Director, comments: “Investing in e-motorcycles provides a path to more sustainable and equitable growth across African communities and addresses the urgent issue of climate change.
“Through our work with several start-ups, we have identified opportunities for a full ecosystem of solutions that address challenges across the value chain. We hope this report demonstrates the impressive progress being made by companies in the e-mobility sector and will act as a call for investors, policymakers, and partners to engage and collaborate to help meet the scale of the challenge.”
Lagos Stops 50% Discount on Transport Fares for BRT, Others
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Lagos state government has announced a full return to the price of all bus rapid transit (BRT), Standard, and FLM with effective from Saturday, April 1.
In a notice seen by Business Post on Tuesday, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) said it would be reverting all its regulated buses fare to a 100 per cent rate.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, had on Wednesday, February 8, 2023, approved a 50 per cent slash in bus fares following the cash crunch brought about by the recent currency swap.
Now, following the supreme court and federal government’s pronouncements on the use of old notes alongside the new notes and return of stability to the system, “the 50 per cent rebate is hereby discontinued,” it said.
“Consequently, bus fares return to pre-50% slash rate effective Saturday, 1st April 2023,” the statement added.
The development was received with mild concerns from commuters and residents who said the move was political at best.
Recall that the Governor was declared the winner of Saturday, March 18, governorship election in the state after winning 19 of the 20 local government councils in the state, scoring 762,134 votes.
His closest rival, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, scored 312,329 votes, while Mr Olajide Adediran of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got 62,449 votes.
Volkswagen Opens New Vehicle Assembly Plant in Ghana
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A new 5,000m² vehicle assembly facility located near the Port of Tema in Accra has been opened by Volkswagen as part of its commitment to the development of the automotive industry in Ghana.
Volkswagen was the first automotive company to be registered under the Ghana Automotive Development Programme (GADP), and this new investment strengthened the brand’s presence in the country and the region.
Recall that in August 2020, Volkswagen awarded an assembly contract to Universal Motors Limited (UML) as its licenced importer in the West African country.
But with this latest development, Volkswagen will take over the new vehicle assembly responsibility from UML, which assembled models such as Tiguan, Teramont, Passat, Polo, Amarok and T-Cross on behalf of Volkswagen using Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) assembly kits imported from South Africa.
“Ghana is an important market for our Sub-Saharan Africa expansion plans, especially in West Africa, where we have identified opportunities of developing a collaborative automotive industry hub amongst the countries in the region.
“The hub concept will ensure that each country with an automotive development policy or economic interest in the automotive industry has an important role to play in the supply value chain. We believe AfCFTA will be the catalyst which will unlock trade barriers and promote regional collaboration amongst the countries,” the Chairperson and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, Ms Martina Biene, said.
“Volkswagen is fully committed to Ghana and in supporting its industrial transformation agenda despite the current economic challenges facing the country. We are here for the long haul.
“Our company believes in long-term investments which are nurtured through mutual relationships with like-minded partners.
“Ghana’s commitment to the development of its automotive industry is evident in the GADP, which is still the blueprint automotive policy in the region in terms of creating an enabling environment for the establishment of an automotive industry in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Ms Biene added.
Ghana is the fourth Volkswagen assembly location in Sub-Saharan Africa. The other locations are in South Africa, where Volkswagen has been manufacturing vehicles for over 72 years, as well as Kenya and Rwanda.
Volkswagen has a presence in 17 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it sells passenger and commercial vehicles through licensed importers.
“As the last frontier for the global development of the automotive industry, Sub-Saharan Africa has become very important for the sustainability of Volkswagen. We are therefore accelerating our growth strategy on the continent by playing a pioneering and leading role in the development of the automotive industry,” commented Ms Biene.
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