Following an earlier announcement that the automaker will start producing the Ford Ranger pickup truck in Nigeria, yesterday, Ford announced that the company has produced its very first made-in-Nigeria vehicle. This is the first of its kind in the country.The vehicle was produced at a Coscharis Motors Limited assembling plant in Ikeja, Lagos state. Ford also announced its plans to produce ten units of the vehicle per day in the country. As of today, Nigeria and South Africa are the only African countries where Ford vehicles are produced locally.

“The facility will accommodate one shift and will produce an initial 10 units per day for the Nigerian market, creating approximately 180 direct and indirect jobs”, says Ford’s sub-Saharan chief executive, Jeff Nemeth. He also suggested that Ford’s decision to begin assembling cars in Nigeria is a way of servicing West Africa.

The local production of vehicles in the country is yet to reach its full potential as Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company has been the major indigenous auto producer in the country. In fact, Innoson is the first indigenous auto manufacturer in Nigeria, who started major production of vehicles during the past Goodluck Jonathan administration. About 15,000 jobs were created with Innoson’s emergence, and in the same vein, it is expected that with Nemeth’s promise of producing 5,000 vehicles annually in Nigeria, Ford will create more jobs.

With a youth unemployment rate of over 50 percent, opportunities for the youth, who make up over 60 percent of the population is a critical issue, which needs to be addressed by both the public and private sector.  youth employment in Nigeria. Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, who hosted a team from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on Monday, suggested that the science and technology sector is ready to address the challenges of youth employment in the country. “The sector will be fully involved in creating employment and empowering the country’s teeming youths to make meaningful contributions to national development”, Onu said.

Source: Ventures Africa

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