ANAMBRA State government reacted weekend to the alleged preference of Innoson SUV cars to Toyota Prado Jeeps by members of the State House of Assembly, saying the lawmakers actually asked for Prado Jeeps.
The state government’s reaction came on the heels of reports that the lawmakers rejected the Prado Jeeps because of their enormous cost, as well as the fact that acquiring Innoson Jeeps would save cost for the state government and promote local industry. But the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr Don Adinuba, said the reports on the cars for the state lawmakers were false and misleading, accusing the opposition Peoples Democratic Party ((PDP) in Anambra State of planting such reports to achieve unmerited political point ahead of the 2021 governorship election in the state. Adinuba said: “The legislators did not reject Toyota Prados, neither did they request for Innoson vehicles. It was the House of Assembly members who asked for Prados, to be in line with vehicles used by legislators in every other state of the federation. “However, when they saw the huge financial implications of purchasing 30 units of the 2019 model of Toyota Prado vehicles for each honourable member, the 30 lawmakers, who are easily the most patriotic, productive and considerate of any set of legislators in Nigeria, opted for the 2017 model (of Prado Jeep) . “They are the only legislators elected in the 2019 general election to have the older model. By so doing, they have saved for the government and people of Anambra State a fortune. “For purposes of historical accuracy, let it be stated in the public domain that it is the executive arm of the Anambra State government which has been leading the campaign to make the Innoson SUV its official vehicle. “In March, 2018, for example, following the second inauguration of the Obiano administration, an order for a fleet of Innoson SUVs was placed with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) for Anambra State Executive Council members. “The order, however, could not be met early enough, apparently on account of several orders from even outside the country. The government was consequently constrained to seek another brand. It settled five months later for Ford because a worthy son of Anambra State, Dr Cosmas Maduka of Coscharis Group, holds the Ford franchise in Nigeria.” Accordding to the state government, both the management and staff of Innoson Motors acknowledge that the Anambra State government “is not only its best customer, but also its greatest supporter”. Going down memory lane, Adinuba recalled that on March 29, 2018, the state government handed over 40 Innoson pickup vans to the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Security, Anambra Vigilante Group, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Navy and National Security and Civil Defence Corps to enhance their capabilities in making Anambra remain the safest state in Nigeria. He added that the state government would, in November this year, donate 60 Innoson SUVs to the security and intelligence agencies, adding that it was a well acknowledged fact that “not only does Governor Obiano patronize Innoson Motors more than any other governor, he has been marketing the vehicles to fellow governors and executives of corporate organizations across the nation”. He said further: “Indeed, the Anambra State government is eminently proud of its relationship with Innoson Vehicle Motor Manufacturing Company. Its founder, Chief Innocent Chukwuma, is a role model. “We are proud that he is a major investor in our state. We are prouder of his genius: he pulled himself up by the bootstraps. Despite his modest formal education, he has displayed world class imagination and creativity. He represents the typical Anambra story, which is a determination to succeed despite all odds.”