Chief Innocent Chukwuma, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Company Limited (IVM), has been honoured with the 2023 Auto Personality Award.
Chukwuma was honoured with the award by the Nigeria Auto Journalists Association (NAJA) at its annual award ceremony held last week in Lagos.
The organisers of the awards, said that Chukwuma’s effort at pioneering the manufacture of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered vehicles in Nigeria was one of the major feats that fetched him the award.
His company was also recognised as the 2023 Auto Plant in Nigeria.
Chukwuma started the production of CNG vehicles about two years before subsidy on fuel was removed and CNG became the preferred and popular alternative to petrol and diesel.
As at May 29, 2023 when the Federal Government declared that subsidy was gone, Innoson had about 100 units of sundry CNG vehicles at its premises in Nnewi, Anambra State in addition to those already delivered to customers in some parts of the country.
Moreover, Innoson demonstrated long ago that it has the capacity and facility to convert vehicles currently running on petrol and diesel to CNG, even though the service is restricted to IVM customers.
The automaker has embarked on the construction of a much bigger multi-billion naira IVM plant annex covering about 300 plots of land is being constructed in Nnewi, and is likely to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2024 to concentrate on manufacturing autogas vehicles.
Commenting on the award, Obum Osigwe, the General Manager, Sales & Marketing, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Nnewi, who represented Chukwuma, lauded the organisers for recognizing the effort of the company at making vehicles affordable for all.
He said: “I wholeheartedly on behalf of my boss and Chairman Chief Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma accept this prestigious award for the manufacturing plant of the year. We are grateful for this honour and we would keep doing our best for our country to put her on the world map.
“I would like to thank the organisers (NAJA) for this honour. Thank you for shedding light on the activities of Auto manufacturers in Nigeria. We are immensely grateful because without you, Nigerians won’t know our toils and travails in manufacturing world standard vehicles for the citizens of our country and Africa in general. Thank you so much and God bless our nation Nigeria.”