The Chief Executive Officer of the Ibom Auto Assembly Plant, Mr Valentine Okorie, has said that the company aimed at producing 1000 commercial vehicles yearly when production begins the first quarter of next year.
The promoter of the auto plant, Mimshac/Merkavim Technologies, an Israeli automobile firm, said the auto plant would create both direct and indirect jobs for teeming masses.
The plant is located in Itu, a few kilometres from Uyo, the state capital.
Speaking, while interacting with journalists at the factory, Okorie added that the state government in keeping with its industrialisation drive acquired the land for the siting of the plant and constructed a dedicated power line to feed the automobile plant.
He regretted the delay in the commencement of the production at the factory blaming it on the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which he said stalled many of its activities.
“The plant is about 90 per cent completed. Everything you see here is prefabricated and brought for installation, as you can see the electrical, the production area and the spraying area have been completed.
“We have fixed the offices, and I can assure you that in the next six months, commercial vehicles from this plant will be in the market, our target is to produce 1000 vehicles in a year.
“We must commend the state government for looking at sources of generating income for the state, not just the allocation, but something that can generate jobs and employment for the people.
“The government has assisted us by providing this land free and we have a dedicated power line drawn to the factory”.
He called on the government at all levels to invest in the transportation sub-sector which he said can generate several thousands of jobs and other investment opportunities.
“This is the first vehicle assembly plant in the South-South region, what Innoson is doing as a private investor is commendable, but we are coming to take the automobile industry to another level, because of the types of vehicles that would be assembled here.
“The government should invest in the transport sector, like this assembly plant now, it has the capacity to generate over 10,000 jobs and other business opportunities.
“By the time we are fully operational, think of people producing oil filters, fuel filters, car batteries, break-pads and even those supplying items to the company, not to talk of direct employment.”