Innocent Chukwuma, Chairman of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, has condemned media criticism of Abia State Governor Alex Otti over his recent purchase of 20 Toyota-branded vans for Abia State security agencies.
Chukwuma said this on Friday in Nvosi, Isiala Ngwa South LGA, during a visit to Abia State governor, Alex Otti, who he described as the Innoson brand’s number one promoter.
“He is Innoson’s number one marketer.” The majority of the vehicles purchased by the government in this state, Abia, are Innoson vehicles, and they are pleased with them.”
He expressed gratitude to Otti for his continuing patronage and support.
On the current controversy that Otti rejected Innoson Motors in favor of Toyota, Chukwuma defended the governor, claiming that Otti had placed an order for 20 security pick-up vans from his company, which the government desperately needed but were not available at the time because Innoson had run out of stock.
He stated that his company’s inability to offer the 20 vehicles during an emergency moment may have influenced the governor’s decision to go with another brand, which, according to Chukwuma, should not merit Otti’s blame.
The founder of Nigeria’s indigenous vehicle manufacturing company, who also used the visit to announce his company’s plans to establish a Compressed Natural Gas, GNG plant in Abia for use by diesel and petrol vehicles, revealed that IVM is currently negotiating with Abia State government officials to set up a servicing and vehicle repairing center in the State.
Governor Otti committed to retaining his support for the Nigerian indigenous car manufacturing company and revealed that his administration has already purchased 40 Innoson brands of automobiles.
He further stated that plans were being made to acquire additional vehicles, including 24 automobiles for members of the Abia State House of Assembly.
The Governor reminded the Chairman of Innoson that his own (Governor’s) official vehicle was still awaiting delivery from his company, which the carmaker swiftly agreed to provide by next week.
He assured IVM of the Abia State government’s willingness to collaborate with the brand, stating that the efforts will provide jobs for Abians and contribute to the state’s economic progress.
The Gist House remembers that in the last four days, Abia’s political arena has been flooded with mountains of condemnation from opposition members over Governor Otti’s purchase of Toyota automobiles for security agencies during the launch of Abia’s unified security outfit, Operation Crush.
The opposition, including some PDP leaders, had chastised the governor for abandoning Innoson in favor of another brand, despite the fact that he had campaigned with Nigerian businesses prior to his election as governor.