By Chinelo Obogo
Nigeria’s major vehicle assembly plant, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM), has announced its decision to shut down production due to lack of foreign exchange to import vehicle components.
This is coming on the heels of the recent report of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), which indicates that Nigeria’s recession had worsened with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropping to -2.06 per cent for the second quarter of 2016.
The Chairman of IVM, Innocent Chukwuma, told Reuters that workers at IVM have already been sent home due to lack of parts from Japan, Germany and China, which account for much of the content of the vehicles they produce.
“Production has stopped as we are waiting for the imported items for which there is forex issue,” Chukwuma stated. IVM was launched in 2010 and raised its annual production target for 2016 from 4,000 to 6,000 vehicles due to a ‘Made in Nigeria’ campaign that generated strong sales to the police, state agencies and churches.
“Those ambitions and plans no more look good if the promises of the government to assist fails to materialise. I believe they are doing something, but if they can’t do anything, we would be forced to lay off workers,” Chukwuma said.