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Innoson reacts to FG order to relocate manufacturing plant to Lagos, Kaduna in order not to lose license 

The founder of Innoson Vehicles has reacted to the purported presidential order which directed him to relocate his Vehicle manufacturing plant.



Innocent-Chukwuma Innoson

The founder of Innoson Vehicles, Innocent Chukwuma, has reacted to the purported presidential order which directed him to relocate his Vehicle manufacturing plant to the Southwest or Northern part of Nigeria if he doesn’t want to lose his operating license. 

It was alleged that the Federal Government instructed Innoson to relocate the company’s plant to Lagos or Kaduna to keep his license. However, according to the company, the founder isn’t under any pressure from President Muhammad Buhari-led administration. 


A statement by Innoson through its Head Corporate Communications, Cornel Osigwe, refuted the claim, stating that the company did not receive such order. Innoson said it would have remained silent and disregarded the claim, but that could be perceived as an affirmation to the directive. 

[READ MORE: Innoson calls ‘student’ graphic designer for pitch meeting]

Mixed reactions trail Innoson’s SUV, its replica design of Chinese vehicle

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The claim has an undertone

According to the statement, the spread of such claim was the ‘handwork of mischief makers’, and this prompted the company to set the record straight and portray the true event which is the fact the government or any of its agencies has never requested that Innoson move its manufacturing plant from Nnewi, Anambra state. 

Innoson said it had instead received policy support from FG, citing the Nnewi Auto-Industrial Park as an example. The Nnewi Auto-Industrial Park was initiated to support the automobile parts manufacturing companies. 

“Ordinarily, we would have ignored the statement and the publication in its entirety which appears to have gone viral in most social media platforms, knowing fully well that this is the handwork of mischief makers, but in a nation where silence may be seen as an admission of the truth, we have been constrained to come out to officially ask the public to disregard it and set the record straight. 

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“There has never been any order and there will never be any order either from the Federal Government or its agencies to Innoson Vehicles to relocate his Vehicle Manufacturing Plant which is based in Nnewi to Lagos, Kaduna or any other place.

Innoson Vehicles has continually maintained a robust relationship with the Federal Government specifically under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. For example, under this present administration, Nnewi Auto-Industrial Park was initiated to support automobile parts manufacturing companies to come together and deliver support, vehicle components, and raw materials required by the teeming automobile manufacturing companies in Nigeria. A major beneficially of this initiative is Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing.” 

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Why this matters

If Innoson moves the company’s manufacturing plant from Anambra to Lagos or Kaduna, the State will lose job opportunities expected to be created by plant. While the number of employees of Innoson is not known, the company contributes greatly to the employment market. In addition, revenue expected to be generated by Anambra State Government from such investment will be lost to another State. 

With the focus gradually swaying towards Nigerian-made products, the company is well-positioned to benefit from the Buy-Naija-to-grow-Naira initiative. Also, the residents of the State where Innoson’s manufacturing plant is located will enjoy job opportunities. 

[READ ALSO: Rome wasn’t built in a day – Innoson reacts to criticism of its vehicles]


Mixed reactions trail value of Innoson’s car, its copycat design of Chinese vehicle

Government patronage

While Nigerians have been criticizing the government and its agencies for patronizing foreign-made vehicles instead of supporting Nigerian-made vehicles, Innoson said it does enjoy patronage from the government. 


Innoson Vehicles has continually enjoyed patronage from the Federal Government and its agencies; specifically, The Nigerian Military, The Police Force, Federal Road Safety Commission, Fire Service, Immigration and lots more. 

Innoson Vehicles is in partnership with the Nigerian Air Force for the development and promotion of joint activities to sustain the maintenance of the Nigerian Air Force Air Assets and other associated Aerospace Ground Equipment (AGE) to enable the Nigerian Air Force to continuously carry out its constitutional obligations to the Nation. Equally, it is also in collaboration with the Nigerian Army Authority for the local manufacture and supply of Armoured and Bullet-Proof Vehicles.” 


Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]



  1. Stanley

    October 23, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    A business model that continues to depend on government patronage for the bulk of its sales is not sustainable. Innoson needs to woo the upper middle class by making cars that will encourage them to end their love affair with tokunbo cars. And place more adverts targeted at reaching this category of buyers on the news media, and popular mass media.

    • James

      October 24, 2019 at 10:14 pm

      Totally agree

    • Anthony

      November 3, 2019 at 2:14 am

      You are absolutely right, Stanley.
      Mr Innocent is a smart man. Let’s hope he will begin to effect changes to their car designs and features. I don’t even wanna talk about their pricing. There are millions of creatives in Nigeria that can help them achieve that. He need to open up a space for those creative guys to come in and help them make Innoson the Nigeria Car Brand.

      The Buhari-led government has been very supportive to his business (and that is something some of my Igbo people will not see and appreciate), he needs to utilise that opportunity to build something for the middle class. Nobody buys stuffs out of pity. He needs to intrigue us.
      Couple with the fact that people’s attention have been drawn to the company after their donation to BBNaija. The criticisms are great feedback for their business. And they are coming freely. The company should take note of them.

  2. Anonymous

    October 24, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    i agree 100 percent with stanley.

  3. Project Topics

    October 24, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    You are on point Mr. Standley, and you have said it all

  4. Anodebenze

    October 25, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Your story about innoson is not chukuma have said,they export their cars to mali, niger republic about 2 yrs ago.There was lack of trust,between this govt and it’s citizen before,,since this govt took over maybe in the last 2 yrs AS THEY ARE MAKING MORE NOISES THAN PREVIOUS GOVT.NOW IT LOOKS THIS PRESENT IS BECOMING VOCAL, AND EXPLAINING THEIR ACTIONS TOWARDS THEIR COUNTRYMEN OR EVEN CHILDREN,NOW .Mr Chukwuma have started to acknowledge the various govt patronage.
    As for innoson being order located to cannot happen under any condition in Nigeria,if govt wants innoson to locate to kaduna,the govt have to finances it,and with this democracy,it is impossible to occur.WE DO HAVE AN ASSEMBLY PLANT IN LAGOS,OWNED BY JOHN HOLT, ARRANGED WITH AMERICA’S GM,THE OTHER ASSEMBLY PLANT IS OWNED BY THE FED GOVT AND WITH ARRANGEMENT OF FRENCH PEOGUET LOCATED IN KADUNA STATE

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CITN issues rejoinder to ICAN’s claim over court case

The rebuttal claims that there are some ‘critical misinterpretations’ contained in ICAN’s claims concerning the judgment.




The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has issued a rebuttal to the “critical misrepresentations” that are supposedly contained in a notice to members sent out by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) over a court case, as reported by Nairametrics.

Recall that ICAN had informed its members that Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State ruled in their favour by striking out “Suit No. LD/3288GCM/19 – CITN VS ICAN” which was filed by CITN. In the suit, CITN had, among other things, prayed the court to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) unless they have a CITN license.


CITN’s position: Now, in its rebuttal to ICAN’s claims concerning the court case, a copy of which was sent to Nairametrics, CITN clarified the following points:

  1. The Ruling of the Hon. Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the 2/7/2020 in LD/3288GCM/19 did not invalidate the MOU and TOS because it did NOT address the issues in the substantive suit, itself. However, since ICAN has resiled from the MoU and ToS it freely entered with CITN, the CITN will not stop ICAN from walking away.
  2. The Judge only struck out the suit based on the Preliminary Objection of ICAN to the effect that the suit was an abuse of court process because the issues in it were the same as the issues in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 – ICAN VS FIRS & 1 OTHER which was earlier decided in favour of CITN.  However, the issues in the two suits are completely different and distinct as has now been explicitly admitted by ICAN in its Notice under reference when it said: “The earlier ruling at the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.”ICAN having admitted  that the judgment in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make any pronouncement on the MOU and TOS (and this is a fact), how then could issues in that suit be the same as those in LD/3288GCM/2019 (decided by Justice Onigbanjo) which only asked for judicial pronouncement on the MOU and TOS?
  3. Regulation 5 of the Tax Administration (Self-Assessment) Regulations, 2011, was categorically annulled by the Hon. Justice Liman in the judgment delivered in FHC/L/CS/125/2019 on 21/11/2019.  None of the lawyers to the parties (including ICAN) can deny hearing the annulment of Regulation 5 during delivery of the judgment. It is unfortunate that ICAN is jumping the gun in a case with a pending post-judgment application.
  4. In the judgment delivered in FHC/L/CS/1480/2018 – CHIEF IGBAROOLA & OTHERS VS FIRS & OTHERS on 21/5/2019, the Hon. Justice A. O. Faji, declared: “CITN Act is thus superior to ICAN Act on the issue of tax practice.  The Self-Assessment Regulations being in conflict with the CITN Act is null and void.  The Plaintiffs cannot practice as tax agents without first being members of the 2nd Defendant.”
  5. In the Court of Appeal judgement of 2013 between ICAN v. CITN, it was held that the power to regulate and control the tax profession, to the exclusion of any other body, in Nigeria lies with CITN.
  6. It is, therefore, now firmly settled from all the relevant judgements at the Lagos High Court, Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal, which have all upheld the primacy of the CITN Charter, that no member of ICAN can practice taxation without first being a member of CITN.
  7. For the avoidance of doubt, no ICAN member, who is not registered with CITN, has been permitted by any law or court decision to practice taxation. The law has made it clear about the professional body that can regulate tax profession in Nigeria and CITN reserves the right to invoke the relevant provisions against any person that violates the provisions of its charter.

The backstory: The disagreement between ICAN and CITN dates back to 2015 following a misinterpretation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Due to the disagreement, CITN took legal actions in a bid to basically make the MoU and ToS binding on ICAN members.

You may read CITN’s full rejoinder by clicking here and follow up on ICAN’s notice to its members here.

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UPDATED: Court rules ICAN members do not need CITN license to file tax returns

The suit, which was filed some years ago by CITN, was basically struck out for lacking merit.




Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State has ruled that members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) do not need to be licensed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) before they can file tax returns.

The ruling on July 2nd followed a suit filed by CITN trying to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns for their clients unless they have a practicing CITN license.


A notice to ICAN members regarding this development, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that Justice Onigbanjo struck out the suit after describing it as “an abuse of court process and an embarrassment to the judiciary.”

The backstory: Nairametrics understands that the disagreement between ICAN and CITN stemmed from the misinterpretation of a 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Consequently, CITN had filed a suit before the High Court of Lagos State, seeking the following:

  • A declaration that the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Service both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on the CITN and ICAN.
  • An injunction restraining ICAN whether by its agents, privies, assigns, or whosoever called, from repudiating, resiling from or acting in any manner or doing anything that is inconsistent with, contrary to or is a violation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Terms of Settlement dated February 12, 2015, between the CITN and ICAN.
  • Determine whether the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Settlement both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on CITN and the ICAN.

However, last week’s ruling by Justice S. A. Onigbanjo which, by the way, was delivered virtually due to COVID-19, has made it impossible for the CITN to implement the terms of the 2015 MoU and ToS. The ruling also aligned with ICAN’s earlier objection to the MoU and ToS.

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The status quo: In view of this development, ICAN has informed its members that they do not need to obtain any license from the CITN before they can file tax returns for their clients with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.

ICAN members were also informed that an earlier ruling by the Federal High Court on the case does not affect the status quo. This is because “the earlier ruling by the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.” More so, regulation 5 of the FIRS Act was not reflected in the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court.

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China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors

Agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors.



A recent study by John Hopkins University reveals it may be easier for African Nations to raise debt and also get debt relief from China than private creditors.

The report of the study comes a day after China promised to cancel interests from loans to African nations and restructure debt to Africa. The study also revealed that China has restructured $15 billion of African debt and written off $3.4 billion in the past ten years.


After 1,000 Chinese loans, including restructured Mozambican and Republic of Congo debt, were analysed, the researchers concluded that “the agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors”.

The Paris Club recently agreed to pause debt payment valued at $11 billion for the poorest 73 nations freeing up capital to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all eligible nations signed up citing fears of default ratings if debt obligations are not met.

The study discovers difficulties in renegotiating terms on International Bonds for African countries due to the disparate ownership structure making private creditors unwilling to grant complete debt relief, citing warnings on rating downgrades.

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China accounts for about 20% of Africa’s external debt and lent over $150 billion to the continent between 2000-2018 the study reveals. Chinese President, Xi Jinping has urged global leaders to be more pragmatic with debt suspension for Africa.

The study says much of the terms of Chinese debt to Africa has not been transparent and the relief negotiations may follow the same path.

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