By Bennett Oghifo
The Chairman of the Consultative Committee of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria’s 14th Annual Banking & Finance Conference who doubles as General Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc., Mr. Herbert Wigwe, has said that local production of vehicles, among other manufacturing plants in Nigeria, would help foster the economic development of the country and serve as a springboard for growing its GDP. Wigwe said this while on an exhibition tour with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, where he highlighted the significant role Kia Nigeria was playing in the drive towards economic diversification and Nigeria’s industrialization through the Made-in-Nigeria Kia cars.
Wigwe said job creation and the end-to-end value chain car assembling bring to the fore the economic growth of Nigeria and that Kia, like every other manufacturing company, would bolster the nation’s economic recovery.
Keying into this year’s conference theme: ‘Economic Recovery, Inclusion and Transformation: The Role of Banking & Finance’, Kia Nigeria joined banks and other financial institutions in the country to demonstrate that one of the sustainable ways for inclusion and economic transformation is an industrialized economy that’s perfectly poised for employment creation. This has over the years been the core of Kia business operations in Nigeria through capacity development, local manufacturing and a backward integrated economy.
“The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was impressed to know that Kia has the capacity to produce 27,000 units of cars per year and re-emphasized that the local production of vehicles in Nigeria would further make cars affordable to teeming Nigerians. Wigwe added that the production of cars in Nigeria would further drive the value down the chain of production with more car component manufacturers joining in on the production of cars which would further boost the economy and create more jobs for the people,” the company said in a statement.
Jacky Hathiramani, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kia Nigeria remarked that the company was committed to contributing immensely to the development of the nation through the multi-billion investment in local car production. He further said: “We have taken our growth commitment to a greater height in Nigeria and repositioned our brand by supporting the Nigeria dream.” He stressed that the local production of Kia cars would continue to foster the diversification of the economy with a value-driven supply chain and scalable backward integration for the economy.
Jacky further said that the automobile industry across the globe had always played a major role in strengthening the global economy by contributing immensely to the growth of the GDP and the creation of employment to teeming youths. “At Kia, we’re committed to helping the economy recover after the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
He thanked Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for gracing the occasion and particularly taking a tour of the exhibition stands to interact with the brands at the conference. In the same light, he applauded the laudable efforts of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the conference’s chairman, Mr. Herbert Wigwe for their doggedness in galvanizing all stakeholders towards the nation’s economic recovery and transformation.