Toyota has ignored President Muhammadu Buhari’s plea urging it to establish its assembling plant in Nigeria. The company has chosen Ghana and Ivory Coast over Nigeria.
Surprisingly, the decision to establish the assembling plant in Ghana was announced at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7), in Japan, where President Buhari had canvassed for a Toyota assembling plant during a meeting with Ichiro Kashitani, the President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, the trading arm of the Toyota Group.
The company said it would start assembling its vehicles and those of Suzuki in Ghana from 2020. The agreement was signed with the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, who said the deal would propel the West African country to become an automotive hub for West Africa.
The deal is one of the ways Ghana intends to utilise the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The country will become a producer and exporter of Toyota vehicles to African countries, and according to President Akufo-Addo, Ghana is “attaching a great deal of importance to the initiative and development.”
Ghana said it would make available, every resource needed by Toyota to ensure return on the investment made into the assembling plant.
“We want to assure you that, whatever it is we can do on the side of the Ghana Government to provide you with the necessary support and assurance that the investment you are going to make in our country will be worth your while, you can count on us to do that.”
Why Toyota chose Ghana: While Toyota described the agreement between the company and Ghana as a marriage meant for life, Toyota’s Chief Operations Officer in charge of the Africa Division, Imai Toshimitsu, said Ghana was chosen due to its favourable economic climate.
Speaking further on the choice of Ghana in West Africa, Toshimitsu, said, “We are willing to participate in the automotive industry in Ghana… I am very happy that we have reached the consensus and principal agreement to start the Toyota and Suzuki assembly plants. We are planning to kick-off the project immediately, and, hopefully, we will have the first car made in Ghana this time (August) next year. Thank you very much for your support.
“The products to be assembled in Ghana include the Toyota Hilux pickup, which is already popular in Ghana. Since it will be locally produced, I hope it will be more popular. We are also planning to introduce small passenger cars, with two Suzuki brands.
“So, Suzuki products will be assembled and sold in Ghana. The cars which will be produced in Ghana are our core models for Africa and Ghana customers.”
Ghana is not alone: With Toyota assembly plant in South Africa, and plans already on ground for Ghana, the company has also announced that it would build its assembly plant in Ivory Coast, making it two West African countries.
What this means for Nigeria: With the free trade agreement in effect, Nigeria will depend on Ghana and Ivory Coast to import Toyota vehicles. This will be a huge market for both countries as they will be the West African hub for Toyota vehicles and Nigeria is expected to be one of the importers and key drivers of sales.
The assembling plants will also help boost job opportunities in Ghana and Ivory Coast, and the more demand they receive for Toyota export, the more jobs and revenues created by the two African governments.
But with Honda and Peugeot having assembly plants in Nigeria, and VW as well as Nissan planning to have theirs, it’s only a matter of time for Toyota to join the rank.
Note: Toyota will be assembling Suzuki vehicles in Ghana after Toyota Tsusho acquired 4.9% stake in Suzuki last week, making it a principal shareholder in Suzuki.
DPR says it has accurate data of country’s crude production volume
Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that the agency has an accurate record of the crude oil produced in the country.
This is in reaction to claims that the exact volume of crude oil produced in the country has remained unknown.
While making this disclosure in a statement in Lagos, the Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.
What the Head, Public Affairs of DPR is saying
Osu said DPR has the responsibility of monitoring and accounting for crude oil production which is the basis for determining the government’s revenue through royalty payments by operators for sustainable development.
He said: “As a further step to boosting crude accounting process from production to export, DPR recently launched the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS).
NPMS is an online platform for direct and independent acquisition of production data from oil and gas facilities in Nigeria.
NPMS as an electronic data transmission tool at production and export terminals is designed to better predict the performance of oil and gas reservoirs and better production forecasting.”
Osu noted that the NPMS tool enables DPR to exercise surveillance, perform production monitoring and data analysis for utilisation and forecasting.
He said DPR as a business enabler and opportunity house would continue to develop robust and strategic initiatives to ensure timely and accurate payment of rents, royalties and other revenues due to the government.
In case you missed it
- It can be recalled that the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Orji Ogbonnaya-Orji, on Thursday said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria, especially at the deep offshore fields, is not known by anyone.
- He said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria had remained unknown because of the absence of meters at wellheads and the lack of capacity to monitor deep offshore fields.
Sanwo-Olu flags off Red line rail project as Lagos compensates property owners
The 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has flagged off the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.
This is as the state started the compensation of identified project-affected persons of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project with the Governor handing over cheques to displaced property owners who were affected by the right-of-way.
The groundbreaking ceremony which took place at the Ikeja Train Station on Thursday was witnessed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, and the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu said the Red Line project which is to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022 with 8 train stations from Agbado to Oyingbo, is another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system and make Lagos a competitive megacity.
The Governor said: “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieve the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda. This is because we recognise the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.
The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible.
Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.”
Sanwo-Olu said that in order to facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, the State Government would be constructing ancillary infrastructure, including 6 overpasses at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interactions between the rail system, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The overpasses will provide grade-separated crossings that will enhance safety for the rail system and road users.
He said: “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.
Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”
The Governor presented cheques of different amounts as compensation to 25 residents whose properties, businesses and accommodation will be affected by the project. Over 263 properties are affected with many of the property owners and tenants smiling as they got their cheques.
What you should know
- The Red Line is part of the state government’s vision of an integrated multimodal transportation system contained in the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), developed by LAMATA, which aims ultimately to birth a world-class transportation network that will support the state’s profile, as the economic capital of Nigeria and Africa.
- It is to raise mass transportation capacity in the State, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina.
- The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing the track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta and will have its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes.
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