Hundreds of Nigerians are venting their anger on the governor of Imo State Emeka Ihedioha over what they described as his preference for foreign-made automobiles instead of patronising Innoson Vehicles, an indigenous vehicle manufacturing company.
Innoson is the first Made-in-Africa automobile manufacturing company which has its factory in Nnewi, Anambra State, in the southeast geopolitical zone. Imo is one of the states in the region.
However, another automobile business mogul Chief Cosmas Maduka is also from Nnewi, Anambra where Innoson’s factory is located. Maduka is one of the sole distributors of Ford brand of cars in Nigeria.
In what could be described as a total war on the Imo Governor, Nigerians lambasted him for neglecting a car manufacturing in his “backyard” and went shopping for US-made vehicles.
“These fools just hawk hatred like bread! Cosmos Maduka of Ford should die of hunger because Innocent his brother of Innoson manufactures cars? Ewu nde tara ji nde! Yet Haters think everything is a reason to ridicule the Igbos! Una go dey alright,” Malema Sankara said on Twitter.
Another Twitter user Simon Obi said the best way to make Innoson strive was for the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to ban the importation of cars.
If I’m the president, I’ll ban all importation of foreign-made cars more so to encourage local content like Innoson. The economy will be revamped in the long run If any company wants to sell cars in Nigeria, the only option will be to set up a factory in Nigeria
Corroborating the position of Simon, Ogechi tweeted, “Innoson should take over Nigeria automobile market by commoditising their vehicle. All they need do is simply design a vehicle that will be cheap and affordable by an average Nigerian.”
In January 2018, it was reported that the Nigerian Army took delivery of some vehicles it ordered from Innoson Motor Manufacturing Company which were configured for deployment for Operation Lafiya Dole and other military operations.
The Nigerian Army and Innoson Motors had signed agreement and partnership towards the manufacturing of locally made military equipment and vehicles for the army before making the delivery.