Nigeria’s premier vehicle plant set for resuscitation

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According to Panapress, Plans are in top gear to revive Nigeria’s premier vehicle assembly plant, Volkswagen of Nigeria (VWON), abandoned several years back, the private BusinessDay Newspaper reported Monday. VWON, a joint venture between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Volkswagen of Germany, was incorporated 4 April, 1973 to, among others, produce and market cars, light commercial vehicles as well as sell spare parts. But few years after becoming operation, the assembly plant became moribund. The newspaper, quoting a source close to the firm that acquired the Federal Government’s stake in it, said the owner had fine tuned strategies that would bring the one-time leading car assembly plant back to life. “Part of the strategies is to commence the importation of fully Built Units (FBU) of different brands of cars and bring the cranky machines back to work in preparation for full automated assembly of vehicles,” it said. The paper said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined comment on how much the restructuring would cost the new management and the time frame for it. It however quoted the source as saying expatriates had been invited to access the factory, located on the outskirts of the commercial city of Lagos, and put the necessary repairs in place for resumption of production. The privatisation of VWON was concluded in 2006 by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), with Barbados Ventures Limited emerging the preferred bidder after offering to pay 612 million naira with liabilities for 35% federal Government equity or 639 million naira without liabilities (118 naira=US$1).

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