The government of Cross River state has concluded agreements with Sirieco Company Limited to set up industrial facilities in the state, as it reaffirms its commitment to attract investors. Under the partnership, the Slovak firm will establish an electric car assembling plant in the state.
The state governor, Mr Ben Ayade disclosed the plans on Tuesday when he led a team from the foreign company on an inspection tour. During the tour of the state’s mega industrial layout, Ayade offered them to make a choice of a location. According to the governor, the industrial layout, “Ayade Industrial Park” has 42 plots of land ready for any serious investor who is willing to create jobs for at least 50 Cross Riverian from its investment outlay.
The foreign company also confirmed its readiness to collaborate with the state. The Chief Executive Officer of Sirieco Company Limited, Mr Groidis Peter said after a fruitful deliberation with the governor and tour of some of the projects in the industrial park, “I am glad to announce to you, gentlemen, that we will love to build a strong working relationship with the Cross River State government which will culminate in the building of a hub that will be second to none in Africa.”
“We are starting with Eco-Cars; electric cars and we hope to set up the car assembling plant here in this park. We are also building a factory for the manufacturing of long lasting street lambs,” he said.
For the project, the agreement stipulates that the Cross River state government will provide land at no cost, in the company’s choice location. In addition, the state is offering 3 years tax exemption, provision of necessary utility support services including free Wi-Fi. The governor also guarantees that once the production line is up and running, the state will “purchase at least 10,000 lamb per annum which is enough to catalyze and energise them to commence work on site as soon as possible. This shows the state is firm on pushing for investments through its bogos incentives.
Accordingly, the adoption of electric car use depends on government incentives and market prices. Albeit, for a country like Nigeria, the new technology is not close to acceptance owing to the lack of basic infrastructure in the country that supports eco-cars operations. In addition, the present economic situation in the country does not assure sustainability of this new technology. Just recently, Nigerian lawmakers kicked against a proposed bill suggesting the adoption of electric cars in the country. Although, countries like Germany, Norway, France among others are now leaning onto alternative eco-friendly fuels to power vehicles in an effort to reduce over-reliance on fossil-fuel, and also to protect the environment.
Despite disapproval, Cross River state government is set to pioneer a project that when completed, its services would not provide for the majority. It is safe to say that the move is a misplaced priority as it does not serve as a “priority” for the people. The state is named one of the most indebted states in the country, and also among states which receive the least federal revenue allocation. Even though electric cars are not exactly what many Nigerians need at the moment, it is important to consider the fact that the deal will attract foreign investments.