Foremost automobile marketing company in Nigeria, Globe Motors has started production of Hyundai and Higer brands of vehicles in its assembly plant in Lekki, Lagos.
Located along Eleko-Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos, the plant, for now, has an installed capacity of 6,000 vehicles annually which the company says can also be increased depending on market forces.
The once flamboyant automobile industry in Nigeria, which became comatose owing to some internal crises in the 1990s, is springing back to life owing to fresh policies put in place by the federal government to assuage importation of cars and boost local manufacturing.
The Managing Director, Mr Victor Oguamalam, in an interview with journalists at the plant, said that “Though we are not producing at installed capacity, we have started production at the plant since 2017. We currently have a yearly installed capacity of 6,000 vehicles at the plant, but daily production is subject to market and other forces,” he said.
According to him, over 50 staff are working in the plant including engineers, technicians and administrative staff. For now, he said, the company is operating at Semi Knock Down (SKD) level and plans to move to Complete Knock Down (CKD) stage as soon as possible.
The government introduced a new set of policies to revive the industry, most of which were amended from those introduced in August 1993 with input from the National Automotive Council (NAC), the Nigerian Automobile Manufacturers Association (NAMA) and car makers such as Toyota, Honda and Nissan of Japan. These also identify locations for auto manufacturing, create auto training centres and urge cooperation with universities to train future auto engineers.
Oguamalam reiterated that “Before we started assembling, Hyundai engineers came and set up the plant, trained our staff for months and we took it up from there.
They came in two batches, made up of the group of engineers who installed the equipment and set up the assembly lines and the marketing department who took our staff on the marketing aspects of the business.
“Even the engineers who came to put us through mere amazed at the competence of our staff. They confessed that technical staff in Nigeria are knowledgeable and pick faster than in other countries where they tried to set up plants.” He attributed their ability to pick up fast to the fact that most of their staff was drawn from existing auto garages and Globe Motors workshop across the country. “Globe Motors is reputed for its competence in automobile maintenance and we are replicating this in our assembly plants.
For over 30 years, we have been in the business of automobile so we are not new in this line of business,” he said.
Also conducting journalists around the facility, the Plant Manager, Simon Njere, explained that the plant compares with the very best in the country.
“We are well equipped with modern facilities for checking the quality of products we are producing here and our equipment are procured from Korea,” he said.