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By Bassey Inyang in Calabar
Chinese Truck Manufacturer, Foton, has said that it was making plans to establish a vehicle assembly plant in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Group Chairman, MSM Group, Muizam Mairawani and representatives of Foton International made the disclosure during a meeting with the state Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, and some industrialists in Government House, Calabar.
Mairawani said the assembly plant, when established would create about 10,000 jobs in the state.
He said their choice of Calabar was due to the favorable investment report on the state at their disposal and the Ayade’s strides at making the state a hub for industrialisation.
“Last year, when we met with the Commissioner for Petroleum, he briefed us on the good works the governor was doing in the state, and that gave us the courage to divert our attention to Cross River with regards to building an assembly plant and a ship yard,” Mairawani said.
He expressed appreciation to Ayade for the good reception accorded them, which according to him, has boosted their confidence in their decision to build the plant in the state.
“The assembly plant is expected to create more than 10,000 jobs,” he said.
Responding, Ayade thanked the delegation for choosing to locate the plant in the state.
The governor announced that the state will buy 200 trucks from the Chinese auto maker as a demonstration of good faith and in fulfillment of the minimum requirement for the citing the plant in the state.
He said apart from being the sole supplier of quarry aggregates to the South-south region, the state also boasts of being home to the largest cement factory in the country.
Aside this, the state also hosts the biggest oil tank farms in the country. He added that the state is also industrialising with most of the industries requiring trucks to move raw materials and products.
All of these sectors depend heavily on trucks to move their products, he disclosed.
“We have a monopoly to the extent that it is only in Cross River you can get granite, you can get quarry aggregates in the whole of southern part of the South-south. So Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa States will all depend solely on Cross River for aggregates. In effect, if Foton trucks has a special presence in Cross River, it will cause all the users and those in the business of supplying granites to buy Foton
trucks particularly when the assembly plant is here,” Ayade said.