By Bennett Oghifo
The federal government has lauded all stakeholders and companies in the nation’s automotive industry for their support in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
According to reports by a local newspaper, Transport Day, the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu said, “NADDC is very happy with the support the Automotive industry is giving to the federal government. It shows the stakeholders’ commitment to safeguarding and strengthening societies across the nation.
“Automotive stakeholders such as Innoson, Simba and others have also risen to the occasion of producing relevant health-related vehicles such as ambulances”.
Recently, prominent automotive industry players, such as Stallion group, CFAO, CIG, Weststar, Toyota Nigeria Limited, among others gave their supported the government in the fight against COVID-19.
Stallion Empowerment Initiative (SEI), the philanthropic arm of Stallion Group, is supplying locally produced rice and fish to all the government-run hospitals dedicated to COVID-19 for three months.
The Chief Executive Officer of Stallion Group, Anant Badjatya, further committed one staff bus each for the five government-run COVID-19 hospitals in Lagos.
The Multinational Group is also providing drivers and fuel for these buses. This arrangement will help ensure safer and comfortable transportation of our health care workers who are in the frontline in this fight against the virus.
Chairman, Stallion Group, Mr. Sunil Vaswani, stated that “These are exceptionally difficult times and urgent emergency resources have to be deployed to cope with the needs of affected states and support their health care systems.
“At Stallion Group, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees, customers and our community. There is nothing greater than the safety of the people of this country and it is our responsibility to support the government and the community in this time of need. We are deeply grateful to every health care worker and person who has risked their life to fight this pandemic and will continue to support them.”
Also, foremost auto company in Nigeria, Massilia Motors, (sole distributor of Mitsubishi Motors in Nigeria), has provided food items to 1000 homes in Ijora, a suburb of Lagos state, where the company’s headquarters is located.
Food items including bags of rice, beans, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, pasta, tomato pastes etc were handed over Thursday, April 9, 2020, to Oba Abdul Fatai Aremu Aromire, the Ojora of Ijora, by a Massilia Motors team led by the Deputy Managing Director of the company, Mr. Kunle Jaiyesimi.
While commending the efforts of government in checking the spread of Covid-19 in the country, the DMD said the company’s gesture “is a way of alleviating the hardship the Covid-19 lockdown may have on the people in our neighbouring community”. Massilia Motors is a joint venture of CFAO and Chanrai Group, focused on automotive needs in Nigeria.
Toyota Nigeria Limited (TNL), the sole distributor of Toyota Motor Corporation in Nigeria and its foremost dealer Elizade Nigeria Limited (ENL) also donated three units of ambulances to the Lagos State Government to support the government in its fight to eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
According to the Chairman of TNL and Founder ENL, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, “COVID-19 is a vicious virus that is presently ravaging people all over the world. Everything humanly possible must be done to quickly contain the pandemic. The government needs the support of all well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organizations to fight the evil scourge and all hands must be on deck.” TNL and ENL will continue to support the government in any endeavour that will positively impact humanity.
The Managing Director of Toyota (Nigeria) Limited, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo added that “The gesture is in recognition and commendation of the continuous effort of the Governor, His Excellency, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his indefatigable team to contain the spread of the virus.”
Also, the Chairman of CIG Motors Company Limited, Chief Diana Chen, donated N20 million, an ambulance and 50,000 face masks to combat COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“Now more than ever”, she said, “we all need to show serious concern and commitment to eliminating the threat of this virus so that we can return to our daily lives before the outbreak.”
CIG Motors Company Limited is the Promoters of the GAC Motor Brand in Nigeria, and Chen has been a crucial voice in rallying the Chinese business community in the country to support government’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
Weststar Associates Limited, representative of Mercedes Benz in Nigeria, donated a brand new Mercedes Benz Axor 1823 waste management truck to the Lagos State government.
Coscharis group donated relief materials to the Lagos state government, and the President of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka said, “we have been following with great details the global developments as it relates to the COVID–19 health situation which is really unprecedented and has brought the whole world to a standstill. As it is, as a responsible corporate entity, we are heeding to government and the health institutions’ advice to ensure the safety of our assets whom are our staff and all our entire stakeholders.”
Also in support of the fight against the pandemic, Mandilas Group, foremost auto distributing company and representative of Carrier air-conditioner, donated some units of air-conditioners to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), to make the isolation centre in Lagos more conducive for the occupants.