The quest by Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing (company), IVM, a foremost automobile maker in Nigeria to expand frontiers and break into other markets- rest of Africa and beyond- seems to be very well on track as the Nnewi-based vehicle producing company has declared that it received an order of about $4.7million worth of vehicles from Sierra Leone.
This development must have ridden on the heels of a pact the company signed with the Sierra Leonean Government in 2019.
While confirming this, recently, in response to a question seeking to know what other countries the company exports to – in an exclusive chat with Vanguard Newspapers- the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Chief Innocent Chukwuma was quick to make reference this new development.
His words: ”Yes. as of now, I have an order of about $4.7million worth of vehicles from Sierra Leone. That’s what I’m producing now for Sierra Leone government. Normally, I do get order and supply from within and outside the country.” he said.
The 2019 deal saw the West African nation make an initial purchase of a fleet of cars from Innoson Motors. This business deal took place during a visit by Sierra Leone’s Defence Minister, Hon Soloku and other delegates from the states’ ministry of finance to the company’s headquarters in Nnewi, Anambra state.
It would be recalled that, during the pact-signing, last year, the Sierra Leonean Defence minister encouraged the Nigerian car manufacturing company to consider expanding its footprints by opening an outlet in Sierra Leone.
The reason why these vehicles will be deployed solely to contribute to the military Defence of the country wasn’t stated, but its decision to purchase locally made cars in Nigeria represents a new venture for Innoson motors.
An automobile deal with Sierra Leone earns Innoson motors an International recognition and a place to compete with other automobile producers on the continent. Innoson Vehicles, which has other investments in Nigeria ranging from transport to logistics, sources its part locally.
Through this deal, Innoson Motors which has earned itself the title of the “World’s First Black-owned Car Manufacturer” will not only be promoting locally made products but driving Nigeria towards a deviation from its other export.