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.
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.
“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 https://twitter.com/cornelosigwe/status/1186633260996141056services, vehicle components, and raw materials required by the teeming automobile manufacturing companies in Nigeria. A major beneficially of this initiative is Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing.”
RE: Relocate Your Vehicle Manufacturing Company Now To Either Lagos or Kaduna Or Your License Would Be Withdrawn- FG; I am Under Pressure Now To Relocate To Lagos or Kaduna- Innoson Breaks Silence.
We have been constrained to issue this statement in reference…
— Cornel Osigwe (@cornelosigwe) October 22, 2019
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.
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.”