German Automobile manufacturer, Volkswagen, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nigeria to turn the country into the “automotive hub” of West Africa.  

This happened during German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Nigeria, with Okey Enelamah, minister of industry, trade and investment, present at the signing ceremony in Abuja.

The car manufacturer also signed a MoU with Ghana to explore the development of new mobility solutions in the country.

Mahamudu Bawumia, Ghanaian vice president, witnessed the agreement signed with his country.

According to a statement by Volkswagen on Friday, the agreement will see new plants being built in both countries, thereby expanding the automobile market in the continent.

The Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Okechukwu Enelamah, signed on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, and Thomas Schaefer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen’s Africa operations signed on behalf of Volkswagen.

Thomas Schaefer and Volkswagen have been working with the DG of the National Automotive Design and Development Council, Jelani Aliyu, and the agency towards the company’s entry into Nigeria and the setting up of local production.

Early July this year, the National Automotive Design and Development Council and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment had hosted Volkswagen and other global OEMs in Abuja.

Aliyu mentioned, “This MOU with Volkswagen is a progressive development as a result of that earlier engagement, and we are particularly excited because the company is very committed to new applicable technology and the local production of modern, safe and energy efficient vehicles which would be optimized for our environment.”

“With Volkswagen, we have a strong stakeholder who understands the huge potential in the Nigerian market, and we are a perfect match to the company’s efforts towards innovative mobility services which would both compliment and boost our economic structure.”

Volkswagen has recently started vehicle production in the East African country of Rwanda this year.

Nigeria provides an even larger market, both within the country and as a gateway to the West African region.