In partnership with 2 Nigerian states, Africa’s richest billionaire is on the verge of taking over the Nigerian Peugeot plant worth $49 million.
The Asset Management Company of Nigeria(AMCON) confirms that Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited is a few processes away from being owned by Aliko Dangote, Kebbi and Kaduna States.
In 2010 AMCON was set up to sanitize the banking system. The asset manager came up with a $4 billion rescue plan for some companies at the brink of collapse.
The “bad bank” as commonly called took over the Nigerian Peugeot plant after buying up its debt and converting it to equity. Later on it moved to sell off some of the assets it acquired in the wake of the banking crisis.
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Ahmed Kuru, AMCON Chief Executive told the media that the only thing left to seal the deal is an approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said all prior processes on the bids have already been completed.
“We have concluded all processes on the bids since about two months ago, all we are waiting for (now) is the approval of the central bank”
Kuru however withheld the company name used by Dangote and his alliance to bid for the Nigerian Peugeot plant.
The one time reputable assembly plant which is located in Kaduna state, northern Nigeria, has the capacity of assembling about 90,000 cars annually.
PAN established their auto investment in Nigeria in 1971. The then Nigerian leader, General Yakubu Gowon had invited them for a partnership. Peugeot was an a global success in the 70s with hundreds of cars assembled in Kenya and Nigeria.
The Peugeot brand thrived in Nigeria and was used for the government’s official cars nationwide.
Aside the fact that PAN created massive job opportunities. From 2000 workers the auto plant went down to 250.
After the long pause in active operations, PAN announced a comeback in 2014. This was as a result of the automotive policy introduced in 2013. The policy was to reduce importations and strengthen local industries and investments.
PAN’s MD/CEO Ibrahim Boyi said this in 2013:
” [The] policy will not result in banning of the importation of vehicles in Nigeria but to focus on promoting investments in affordable made-in-Nigeria vehicles.”
He also noted that with the influx of second hand cars, most Nigerians could still not readily afford them. In other words affordability is a paramount issue.
On that, Boyi said the only way “you can penetrate that market is through pricing.”
Currently battling with an economy in recession, Nigeria has plans towards self-sufficiency and diversification. Consequently, Dangote has kicked off a good number of investments to assist the economy.
It is hoped that the soon to be endorsed deal with Dangote, Kebbi and Kaduna government will finally give average Nigerians the privilege of having brand new cars at affordable rates.
While it may not completely halt car importations, it will boost local automobile industries; create jobs once again and improve the economy to a reasonable extent.