The Charge‘d Affair of Nigeria in Mali, Yara Abdulsalam, says an indigenous motor manufacturing company, Innoson Motors, has signed MoU with a Malian firm to export 400 locally made vehicles to Mali.
Abdulsalam made the announcement on Friday in Abuja when he led a delegation of businessmen from Mali to visit the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.
He said that during the week, Innoson Motors signed Memorandum of Understanding with Taxi Plus VIP, a Mali based transport company for the expansion of transport business in that country.
He said the development was the outcome of “Made-in-Nigeria products exhibition” held in Bamako in 2016.
He said that the exhibition was facilitated by Ginco Group, a Nigerian firm based in Mali to show case Nigeria’s potentials.
Abdulsalam said: “From the exhibition, Taxi Plus VIP approached the embassy that they wanted to import vehicles from China but, we told them that we have indigenous company in Nigeria that manufactures vehicles.
“They started talking with Innoson through Nigerian Export Promotion Commission and the deal was later finalised.
“Mali is the centre of Francophone countries and has boundary with eight countries.
“If the MoU materialises, it will positively affect all other countries and will increase Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria.”
In his remarks, the Minister expressed delight at the development and described it as “the beginning of industrial revolution in Nigeria’’.
He said that it was a good development that would enhance job creation and stem the rate at which youths embark on dangerous adventure to Europe in search greener pasture.
Onyeama said: “So what you are achieving can be the beginning of revolution in our country; the longest journey has to start from somewhere.
“What you are doing represents a giant leap for Africa because it involved trading among ourselves.
“What I found so interesting is that we are trading at the highest technology level with the export of automobile, cars and buses to one another.
“As we are now laying the foundation, the sky is the limit for Africa; it means we have broken that glass ceiling that is holding us down.”
Onyeama commended the Nigerian embassy in Mali for providing the institutional support for the MoU.
He said: “This is what the ministry wants Nigerian embassies around the world to be doing; to serve as small hub to promote trade relationship.’’
He said that the one of the ministry’s goals was to be a hub to promote Nigerian export.
Onyeama said: “We have many offices around the world and we want to leverage on that to promote Nigerian goods.”
The Managing Director of Ginco Group, Godwin Oguzie, said the 2016 Made- in-Nigeria exhibition in Bamako, was to enable Nigerian manufacturers know that opportunity awaited them in Mali to sell their products.
He said that he led Taxi Plus VIP, to sign the historic MoU with Innoson Motors to export 400 vehicles to Mali.
Oguzie said: “We sign an MOU with Innoson Manufacturing Company to enable Taxi Plus increase its capacity to provide urban transportation system in Bamako.
“This is the first time a country in Africa is exporting locally manufactured vehicles to another country.”