Peugeot 301, assembled in Kaduna by PAN Nigeria Limited, has emerged Car of the Year in a keen contest with Toyota Corolla and Nissan Almera. The Peugeot 301 polled the majority vote in both the on-line contest and the voting by Auto journalists, for the award that was organised by Nigeria Auto Journalists Association.
The Mercedes Benz S-class emerged Luxury Car of the Year, beating the BMW Seven Series and Jaguar XJ.
Sports Utility Vehicle of the year went to Toyota Prado, while the Pick up of the year was won by Ford Ranger.
Toyota Hiace went home with the Mini Bus of the year award, while the Heavy Truck of the Year was won by Mercedes Actros.
Globe Hyundai and Jet Van Mercedes were joint winners in the Outstanding new entrant of the year category, just as God is Good Motors walked away with the Most Safety Conscious Transport Company of the Year.
Show Room of the Year Prize was won by Nissan show road, Victoria Island, Lagos, while Pirelli was crowned Tyre Brand of the year.
Chisco Transport was recognised as the West Africa Coast Transport Company of the Year, while Yamaha was voted Motorcycle brand of the year.
In the personalities category, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) was awarded Road Safety Personality of the Year; the President of Coscharis group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka got the Auto Personality of the year award, just as the Managing Director of Toyota Nigeria Limited was selected as the CEO of the year. The late Executive Director of Nigeria Auto Manufacturers Association (NAMA), Mr. Arthur Madueke was given a post humous award for the contributions to the auto industry.
In a goodwill message, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofiu Olanrewaju Elegushi urged the recipients of the Award to see the gesture as a call to service, saying “there is a need to engage with Government. The present Administration in Lagos State is willing and ready to partner any serious, individual and corporate body who wish to contribute and add value to the industry.
I also enjoined organizer of this programme to see this event as a national programme and quest to appreciate, celebrate and developed the sector.”
He advised stakeholders to consider investing in the development of the Nigerian Car. “As we celebrate and bestow honour we will like to state that it is pertinent for us to begin to invest in the Nigerian “car”. We are long overdue for such. There are a few of such in Nigeria. While we import most cars as CKDS or such other forms we bring them in, we must now commence a process of investing in building local content into it. The Nigeria Auto Journalists are eminently placed to champion this cause.
A second concern that we must also deal with is safety issues. I will recall your positive contribution when Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) commenced the campaign to introduce speed limiting devices in vehicles used for public transportation. I therefore salute your sagacity and candour. “There are several other major issues wherein your voice must be heard and your insistence will provide that key insight into the direction that Government’s policies will take. As you highlight them and put them in the public domain, utilizing the essential ethics of journalism, it is sure that gradually a tradition of excellence will be created. “Today’s event, in my view, derives from an evaluation and consequent selection of men and women of ideas and candour. It is a pot pourri of veritable stakeholders, individual and corporate entities determined to ensure that the sector moves ahead.
We as a Government look forward to a concerted effort on your part to sensitize our people as to safety on roads, the right of other road users, the restriction of OKADA from plying highways, the menace of high capacity haulage vehicles on our roads and other such issue that have bedeviled our effort at moving traffic forward in Lagos State. We love to see you talk about the improvement in public transportation system; encourage people to reduce the use of private cars in favour of public transportation – as we move ahead with series of innovations and improvements.”
In his welcome address, the Chairman of NAJA, Mr. Frank Kintum said, “The Nigeria Auto Journalists Awards (NAJA) is undoubtedly the hallmark Auto industry recognition that has stood the test of time.
He said the annual NAJA recognises products and persons that have stood out during the year and that many companies and models have been nominated for today’s awards and some are going home with laurels, while others should try harder next year.
In arriving at the eventual winners, we have carefully evaluated all nominees and have also been assisted by some auto customers and industry stakeholders.
Interestingly, in order to make the awards more interactive and involve the motoring public, we decided to allow members of the public to participate by way of voting on-line.”