Aerial view of the digital automobile assembly plant in the State.
By Abasifreke Effiong, Uyo.
The Akwa Ibom state government has guaranteed a $10 million (US dollars) loan for Mimshac Transportation Technologies, the company handling the construction of a digital automobile assembly plant in the State.
The car assembly plant is located in Ikot Ukap, Itu local government area along the Calabar-Itu highway.
According to a letter of request sent by Governor Udom Emmanuel to the House of Assembly seeking approval for the loan, the facility will be used to construct 85 stainless steel 20-seater luxury buses and training of 20 indigenes of the State on assembling and manufacturing of vehicles in Israel.
The loan which will be collected from Zenith Bank, Uyo, will ‘finance the procurement of Semi Knocked Down and Complete Knocked Down (CKD) parts for the assembling of 85 stainless steel, 20-seater luxury buses’, a letter from.thr Governor to the House of Assembly read.
The $10 million US dollar loan given at an exchange rate of N470, is the equivalent of N4.7 billion.
House of Assembly correspondents reported that Governor Udom Emmanuel in a letter to the House of Assembly read at plenary by the Clerk, Mrs Mandu Umoren, said the loan facility would aid the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the State Government and Mimshac Digital Automobile Plant.
The automobile plant was one of the pioneer industries that Mr. Udom Emmanuel, flag-off in 2015 after he was sworn-in as Governor.
The Governor visited the car assembly plant late last year and extracted commitment from management of the company handling the project that the project will be completed in six months.
The Managing Director of the company, Engr. Valentino Okorie, said the last set of equipment to complete the plant was expected to arrive the state soon and the plant would be ready for Commissioner within the first half of 2022.
“The facility is at 90% completion, and it is the first car assembling plant in the South South region of Nigeria.
“Very soon, over 3000 direct staff would be employed and 25 sent abroad for a 6 weeks training in automobile assembling.
“The automobile plant has 6 production lines with a capacity to assemble 5 conventional vehicles, 18 cars/ SUVs, 13 mini buses, 9 midi buses, 5 luxurious buses. A total production of 108 cars/SUVs, 56 buses in two weeks”, Okorie concluded.