Written By Anthony Iwuoma
Posted By Admin
A Lagos-based motor spare parts manufacturer has commended the Federal Government for introducing various packages to assist Nigerian local entrepreneurs.
The businessman, Mr. Emmanuel Nwokenkwo, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Ivansil Investments Ltd., expressed optimism that the government interventions will enable local manufacturers to compete with the foreigners that flood Nigerian markets with products that may even be substandard.
Nwokenkwo indicated his company’s readiness to give the Chinese a run for their money in Nigeria’s motor spare parts market.
He posited that the problem of Nigerian investors is the dearth of conducive investment opportunities for local investors.
Ivansil, an motor spare parts manufacturing company, has been around since 1992 and was making waves then before hitting a rough patch orchestrated by the multifarious challenges, which the company is now set to overcome through the help of the various policies the Federal Government has put in place for local investors.
The company, which produces a range of motor spare parts, including exhaust pipes, oil, fuel, and air filters, especially the Toyota brand, has initiated moves towards a new lease of life and hopes for full resuscitation soon.
Nwokenkwo believes that taking advantage of the various packages the Muhammadu Buhari administration has put in place, local investors, including himself would surmount some of the crippling challenges, such as lack of power supply, high cost of importing raw materials, unstable government policies, difficulty in accessing funding and forex, and bad road network, etc.
According to Nwokenkwo, Ivansil’s trump card to overcome the raw materials challenge of his company is to float a subsidiary – a paper mill and chemical plant.
He said: “All the raw materials for our filters are imported 100%. Considering the crazy foreign exchange market, you can imagine what that does to our production. That is why we are floating a paper mill.
“Filters are made from pulp or recycled waste paper, which is available locally. With the paper mill, therefore, Ivansil would be able to get 100% the raw materials required for the production of its filters. This will save a lot of cost for the country, the company and others. This is apart from the huge direct employment opportunities and associated ones.
“Presently, what people do is to assemble motor spare parts imported from China. They consider that cheaper but that is for now. I believe over time it is cheaper to manufacture than assemble; that is why we are passionate about that.
“Once we are able to establish the paper mill and get raw materials locally, we will be able to compete and drive out the Chinese imports out of the market in a short while. It is noteworthy too that we have a very huge market, considering the various assembly plants in the country.”
Ivansil Investments Limited sits on sprawling four plots of land in Agodo Egbe, Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area. The factory is filled with assorted multi-million naira machines and moulds designed for its various product lines. The machines are also manned by highly skilled technicians.
Speaking further, the CEO said: “The technical know-how is not a problem. We already have competent staff but in areas we are lacking, we intend to get staff from India or China to train our staff locally.”
Nwokenkwo lauded the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for coming to the rescue of investors, saying it is a tonic that shall soon prop up the dwindling economic fortunes of the country. He also disclosed that his company is interested in the Federal Government’s lifeline to local investors.
“Of course, we are applying for the packages the government has rolled out to encourage local investors,” he said. “The CBN has provided loans of up to N5 billion for local investors through development banks, which is like the Bank of Industry. There is nothing to worry about; we don’t believe the Nigerian factor has anything to do with this. If we are qualified for the loan, we are optimistic that we shall get it and if we are not, we continue to struggle. However, I already have a lot of mileage and trust that if the proper indices are considered, we are surely qualified for it.”
Nwokenkwo also called on the government to look into the area of power supply, lamenting that he spends a fortune to empower his generating set daily. This takes up a huge chunk out of the lean returns and affects productivity, with the concomitant effects.