Imo governor buys more Innoson vehicles for security

Governor Hope Uzodinma announced on Saturday a N6 billion take-off fund for a youth empowerment programme in the State.

Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has acquired another fleet of vehicles produced by Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited (IVM), Nnewi, a reputable Nigerian brand.

The new set of 100 vehicles procured last week will complement those the governor acquired in March last year for distribution to various security outfits, particularly for the state’s ‘Operation Search and Flush’ outfit.

The governor prefers the vehicles because they are durable, purpose-built and are comparatively affordable, as he stated during their launch.

Gov. Uzodinma had on Wednesday, May 5, at a ceremony in Owerri, presented a fleet of 100 patrol vehicles produced by the Nnewi plant to the state’s anti-crime/banditry outfit, Operation Search and Flush, with a warning “to bandits, hoodlums and trigger-happy criminals that their time is up in Imo State.”

They included some units of the well-equipped, and highly acclaimed IVM G12 special purpose vehicle already popular with the military; as well as the IVM {troops} Carrier usually at its best during off-road duties, and used by many security outfits and can be spotted in the convoys of some government officials at various levels.

A statement from Innoson on the IVM Carrier pick-up supplied to the Imo State Government, says: “We designed the vehicle specifically for the African road. It comes with an innovative chassis, front double cross beam independent suspension and rear leaf spring dependent suspension, and socket shock absorber, which reduces bumping on the road effectively and enhances smoothness of vehicle.”

There have been reports of commendation of the move by Gov. Uzodinma, particularly that of the Director-General of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Abuja, Jelani Aliyu, who said he is very proud of Innoson, and is not surprised that the Imo State government has found the company’s vehicles very reliable and worthy of consistent patronage.

Aliyu said the NADDC would continue to support Innoson and other local assembly plants towards producing vehicles that satisfy the needs of the Nigerian market, as well as other markets on the African continent.

A report quoted an auto industry stakeholder and Managing Director of Lafbart Innovations and Consulting Ltd, Akure, Femi Olafunmiloye, as imploring other buyers to emulate the patriotic gesture.

Olafunmiloye, whose company produces tricycle and fabricates agricultural support equipment and parts for light trucks, said, “Gov. Uzodinma has done what others find difficult to do, and that is: Patronise and encourage local players in the auto industry, like Innososn. That is how it is done in every serious country. State agents have to be using locally made vehicles. That his is how to create jobs.”

Also commending the Imo state government, Dr. D.V.C. Obi, a strong advocate for a viable automotive who until recently headed the Auto Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria {MAN}, argued that if channeled inward, government purchases could lift the industry from its present bad situation.

The Managing Director/CEO of Donakosy Tractors Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Enugu, Kosy Maduanusi, Imo State Government’s policy of sourcing vehicles from Innoson, “is a very good move towards encouraging and empowering local manufacturers.”

Maduanusi stated, “Our economy is also a huge gainer from this policy of looking inwards, because it will strengthen the company and secure the jobs of the workers. I am very much aware that Innoson currently employs over 7,200 staff and have significantly reduced its expatriates to just one percent, which means Nigerians are the ultimate beneficiaries.

“In other countries, government, individuals and corporate organisations purchase only locally manufactured vehicles, but in Nigeria, the reverse seems to be the case. So, Gov. Uzodinma deserves special commendation for being patriotic.

“Governments, individuals and corporate organisations are strongly advised to always purchase locally made produced so as to create jobs, strengthen organisations and reduce capital flight.

“I am calling on government at all levels, individuals and corporate organisations to embrace locally manufactured goods in Nigeria and purchase vehicles from Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Agricultural Tractors from Donakosy Tractors Manufacturing Co. Ltd and other local manufacturers.

“This will, no doubt, strengthen our economy and also help stop and/or reduce the rising inflation which we are currently living with. Our daily choices as Nigerians would aggregately improve or destroy our economy tomorrow.”

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