President of Ghana commissions a US$ 9-million Nissan’s state-of-the art Navara assembly plant at Tema – The president of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, officially commissioned the brand-new state of the art Nissan Navara assembly plant in Tema in the Greater Accra Region.
The Nissan Navara assembly plant is the highest of a journey that started in 2018 when Nissan became the first mover in Ghana to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ghanaian government to work towards creating the Ghana Automotive Development Policy.
Nissan designated Japan Motors, one of its two long standing distributors in Ghana, as its certified assembler in 2020. Work on the 5000 sq.m plant began shortly afterwards and today, 17 months later, the plant was officially opened by president Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo as the first Nissan Navaras began rolling off the assembly lines.
Speaking at the Nissan Assembly Plant’s opening, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the importation of motor and transport vehicles constitutes the leading import into Ghana, estimated at $1.5 billion annually. He noted the emergence Covid-19, has emphasized the need for Ghana to be self-reliant and produce domestically.
“Today marks yet another important mile stone I our quest to make Ghana a new manufacturing hub for Africa, in particular, realise our vision of becoming a leading player in the automobile industry in Africa. I’m delighted that in the automobile sector, we have attracted investment from a number of global iconic brands,”– President Nana Akufo-Addo
He said the presence of the facility comes to support the industrial transformation agenda to diversify the economy.
Nana Akufo-Addo noted Ghana government identifies that the establishment of assembly plant alone does not create the significance deployment opportunities expected from the automotive industry.
In this regard, he added –
“The elaboration of a comprehensive complement and supply development program by the Trade Ministry to support local production of component and parts for the automobile industry.”– President Nana Akufo-Addo
The President further added that the component manufacturing policy that will provide targeted incentive to attract various investors to manufacture domestically components and parts is being developed.
“The rolling out of this policy will lead to harnessing the capacity of local value chained actors particularly technicians, operating in the Suame Magazine, Abosey kai and others across the country to play critical role in component manufacturing and supply development program”– President Nana Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo further indicated that three other vehicle manufacturers, namely Hyundai, KIA and Renault will embark commercial production this year.
Present at the opening was Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, who said the facility, will create the needed jobs for Ghanaians and that the growth of the automobile industry will also attract foreign direct investment.
“We believe that this is just not going to bring investment in the auto industry into our country but will bring other investments,”– Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen
The new state-of-the-art Nissan assembly plant has the capacity to assemble 5,000 new automobiles annually and will also produce Peugeot vehicles.
Nissan Africa managing director, Mike Whitfield, said it was an incredible joyous and emotional experience.
“Less than eight months ago, the Nissan plant in Rosslyn South Africa passed its final test to be given the green light to start manufacturing the all new “built of more’ Nissan Navara. Right at that time, a key group from this plant graduated in the same plant, having received extensive and intensive training on the assembling of these vehicles. Just over a month ago, this brand-new assembly plant passed its own final test – the very same one that the Rosslyn plant had to pass because in the world of Nissan there is only one standard – it is Nissan’s. I can tell you all, without any fear of contradiction, that this is the most modern, most state-of the art plant anywhere in West Africa.”– Nissan Africa Managing Director, Mike Whitfield
The plant, he said, was proof of the fantastic public private partnership between the government of Ghana, Japan Motors and Nissan Africa.
“The existence of this plant is tribute to the passion and commitment of Japan Motors investing US$ 9-million, which in itself would not have been possible without the security and certainty offered by the government of Ghana’s progressive automotive industry development policy which was signed into law in record time. Ghana today stands as a benchmark for the African automotive industry, an example of what can be done when there is a will and a vision.”– Japan Motors MD, Salem Kalmoni
Japan Motors MD, Salem Kalmoni, whose grandfather began what would become Japan Motors 100 years ago, said the US $9-million investment was proof of his family’s commitment to the country and the government, creating jobs and opportunities in the country.
“To borrow from the Minister of Trade and Industry Alan Kyerematen; we have indeed “put our skin into it’.”
Kalmoni said he hoped that the government would now fully implement the Ghana Automotive Development Policy, after having identified vehicle assembly and automotive component manufacturing as a strategic anchor industry for its Ten Point Plan for Ghana’s industrial development.
Whitfield paid tribute too to Nissan’s other distributor in Ghana, APL Nissan;-
“I am grateful too today for our continued friendship and association with Subhi Accad and his company APL Nissan Ghana, who together with Japan Motors are Nissan’s two sole distributors in Ghana. I have no doubt that together these two companies will put Nissan right back up as the top selling automotive brand in Ghana once more.”– Nissan Africa Managing Director, Mike Whitfield