One of Nigeria’s leading automobile companies, Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), has signed a new agreement with Automobile Peugeot of France that will enable it to resume operations, according to PAN Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Boyi.
The local media Friday quoted Boyi as saying that PAN, based in the northern city of Kaduna, and which has been moribund for sometime, hopes to restart production in June 2014 with about 3,000 cars.
Boyi said the restarting of the plant was made possible by a number of factors, including the federal government’s automobile development policy which was unveiled last year.
He said the new management of PAN faced tremendous challenges when it assumed office five months ago, but expressed the confidence that the company’s fortunes had being turned around for better.
Some of the biggest problems faced by the management was the pulling out of Peugeot France from the company, lack of sufficient structures for after-sales and short chain of the dealership network.
“Internally, there were a lot of morale issues, the company has not been performing well, some of our good quality staff have left the system, some others were just looking for opportunity because they didn’t see a future in the company. But I’m glad to say that today, most of these things have changed.
He said the restarting of the plant would create job opportunities for hundreds of ex-workers, while thousands of indirect employment would be provided for Nigerians.
The collapse of the automobile industries in Nigeria has led to the importation of fairly used vehicles from Europe and America, to such an extent that fairly used vehicles constitute almost 75% of all the cars on Nigerian roads.
Worried by the effect of this on the economy, the Nigerian government last year introduced a new automobile development policy that will assist the various automobile assembly plants and industries in the country to restart production and encourage Nigerians to patronise locally-produced vehicles.