The newly assembled made-in-Nigeria Hiace bus. Photo: Daily Mail
History was made in Lagos on Monday, March 21, when Nigeria’s first locally-assembled vehicle was unveiled by Toyota Nigeria.
Daily Mail reports that the vehicle unveiled was a Hiace bus a revelation by the car-making company after earlier plan to establish a vehicle assembly plant in the country alongside Nissan, Ford, Kia, Peugeot and a host of other auto firms already assembling vehicles locally.
Speaking during the unveiling, Kunle Ade-Ojo, the managing director of Toyota Nigeria, informed that the new Hiace was assembled in the company’s plant in Lagos, built with 30,000-unit production capacity every year. According to him, the Hiace was assembled as a test case as the firm looks forward to a mass production in coming months. This breakthrough is coming just after two and a half years after the announcement of the Automotive Industry Development Plan by Nigeria’s federal government, which raised the import duty on cars from 22 per cent to 70 per cent in order to discourage vehicle importation.
Only recently, the Senate president, Bukola Saraki appeared for plenary fully dressed in made in Nigeria attire, in keeping true to his promise of patronizing made in Nigeria goods. Saraki, who is usually seen on suit and ‘agbada’ was sighted today wearing a traditional Igbo chieftaincy attire and a red tradition cap, all made in Aba, Abia state. Senate president, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who had been stressing the need to patronise Made-In-Nigeria products received some locally made trendy outfits from Adic Designs as gift a few weeks ago.