Minister of Information Labaran Maku
By Adebiyi Adedapo
Chairman of INNOSON Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Co. Ltd, the first automobile manufacturing plant in the country, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, has lamented the low patronage of the company’s products by both the government and the people of Nigeria.
Chukwuma said this Friday evening when the National Good Governance Tour team visited the plant in Nnewi , Anambra State.
He stated that the people and government of Nigeria have refused to appreciate and patronise locally-made products irrespective of the fact that some are of better quality.
The chairman also said that vehicles produced in the plant were more durable and cheaper compared to the imported vehicles.
“The vehicles can be purchased for as low as N1.7million, and the company has certification from the National Automotive Council (NAC), the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON),” he said.
Chukwuma added that some government agencies do not also patronise his company’s product even when government agencies from another countries orders for the products.
“Exporting of the IVM vehicles has already commenced. Ghana, for instance, has ordered 200 units of these vehicles and here in the country, the Chief of Army Staff recently ordered 20 units. We approached the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency (AEPA) to patronise waste disposal bins manufactured by the company, but surprisingly the agency still imports them from Germany. I even provided the agency with a truck load of complimentary waste bins for a trial,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Information Labaran Maku has said that there was need to ban importation of fairly used vehicles into the country so as to encourage the local manufacturers and help them to remain in business.
The minister noted that if 30 per cent of the vehicles purchased in Nigeria were sourced from the company, it would be able to expand and meet the demand in the country.
Maku also urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to implement the resolution of the Federal Government to patronise the company.