…As Finance Minister says Nigeria’s economy is on ‘upward swing’***
The National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Iya-Aliyu on Thursday, urged the Federal and State governments to massively patronise Innoson motors.
Iya-Aliyu stated this in Nnewi, while inaugurating a newly installed automated bus manufacturing plant at Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing (IVM) plant, in Anambra, stressing that the kind of vehicles manufactured there can march any vehicles produced anywhere in the world.
“I want to advise Nigerians, including state and federal governments, to massively patronise Innoson vehicles. The kind of vehicles manufactured here can march any vehicle produced anywhere in the world and I am elated to be part of this history-making venture”, the NACCIMA Boss stated.
Iya-Aliyu highlighted that supporting indigenous businesses, such as IVM, had the potential to create jobs and reduce unemployment, noting that the growth of indigenous businesses could also improve the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and fast-track industrialization.
She observed that the nation’s quest to develop the private sector can only be realised, if Nigerians support made-in-Nigeria products, and charged government at all levels to provide conducive environment for indigenous businesses to flourish.
The NACCIMA Chief announced at the event that Chief Innocent Chukwuma, the Chairman of IVM, had been named the chairman of the chamber’s automobile committee.
She said that with the new assignment, Chukwuma and his new committee, “are now in-charge of certifying vehicles imported into Nigeria.”
She expressed the confidence that the new plant would boost the company’s production capacity.
In a speech, Chukwuma said the plant had the capacity to produce up to 15 vehicles daily and more than 5,450 annually.
He said, “A major benefit of this new plant is that it will reduce production cost, especially for buses in the country.”
He also said his firm planned to replicate the success of the bus production on SUV, MPV and Sedans production lines.
“Our target is to ensure that an average Nigerian can afford a brand new car,” Chukwuma said.
The event was attended by national and state officials of NACCIMA.
The IVM Nnewi, which was inaugurated on Oct. 15, 2010 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, now has three automated plants at Umudim and Nnewi, both in Anambra.
In the meantime, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has stated that Nigeria’s economy is on “upward swing’’.
Ahmed said this at a symposium organised by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Abuja chapter on Thursday in Abuja.
Represented by Mr Stephen Medaiyedu, the Deputy Director in charge of Tax and Policy in the ministry, Ahmed observed that the economy was not doing badly and all major stakeholders should support the government for the country to emerge stronger.
She explained that as part of government’s efforts to increase non-oil revenue, the present administration had set an aggressive target for increasing tax collection.
According to Ahmed, the tax rate being paid by those that are compliant is lower than expected.
“A robust tax system is a pre- requisite for any economy that is desirous genuinely committed to growth and development.
“Tax collection must grow in line with growth in the economy but this has not been the case in Nigeria.
“This situation was witnessed because of lack of transparency and accountability in the management of our collective wealth in the past,’’ she explained.
Ahmed reiterated the present government’s commitment toward ensuring judicious use of funds through the strict enforcement of the Treasury Single Account policy and zero tolerance for corruption.
She said the achievement of the government’s objective of expanding the tax base for improved revenue collection would be enhanced with the cooperation and support of CITN and other stakeholders.