The Stallion Group says it plans to achieve 80 percent Nigerian content in its line of automobiles being assembled in Nigeria.

The Manager, Business Development of the company, Mr. Abah Ben, said this when he led a team from the group to visit the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, in Abuja.

The Nissan arm of the Stallion Group has also said a vibrant automotive sector will serve as a viable alternative to the dwindling oil revenue.

Ben, however, hinged the hope of achieving the company’s auto local content target on the operation of the Aladja Steel Rolling Mill, which the company had acquired.

He said that the company would explore partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology to incorporate brake pads produced by one of the agencies of the ministry from local materials to grow the Nigerian content of the vehicles.

He also disclosed that the company through the acquisition of former Volkswagen Nigeria had entered into partnership with various auto manufacturers in Japan and Korea, which had started producing vehicles at the Volkswagen yard.

Ben said, “We have taken over the old Aladja Steel Company, now Premium Mine and Steel Limited. We are working and hoping that we will cooperate with our international agencies and we will begin to produce Nigerian vehicle parts from that mill.

“For now, the paints on our vehicles are local. The leather seats are also produced in Nigeria. They are produced in Sokoto. At the moment, the Nigerian content in the vehicles should be between 17 and 25 per cent.”

Onu urged the company to move from assembly of vehicles to manufacturing, adding that manufacturing had capacity to create more jobs in line with the focus of the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Also receiving the Founder of Lady Mechanic Initiative, Sandra Aguebor, the minister said the Federal Government would support her efforts to create jobs and empower women.

Aguebor had sought the collaboration of the ministry to enable the Lady Mechanic Initiative to create a vehicle made by the women group and an effort that would enable Nigerians to diagnose their cars with their mobile phones.

Meanwhile, Nissan Nigeria has warned of stagnation in the country’s evolving automotive sector unless the Federal Government wholly implemented the National Automotive Industry Development Plan and gave deserving operators the latitude to function optimally.

The Regional Project Director, Nissan Nigeria, Mr. Sorin Profir, gave this warning in Lagos at a media engagement to acquaint local automobile journalists with Nissan’s achievements since 2014 and its successive plan of action.

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