The Oasis Reporters
May 10, 2019
By Mike Odeh James and Agency reports.
Nigeria’s export drive got a boost recently as the Sierra Leonean Government came over to Nigeria’s first indigenous vehicle manufacturing plant, Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Company to purchase military vehicles from the sister commonwealth West African country.
Innoson Vehicles announced this cheering news for intra African trade via it’s Twitter handle that the Government of Sierra Leone has purchased some fleet of cars from its company.
Government of Sierra Leone Patronises Innoson Vehicles
Last weekend, Saturday, May 4th, 2019, a delegation from the Government of Sierra Leone paid an official visit to Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd Nnewi. pic.twitter.com/q9bAbcTXHe
— Innoson Vehicles (@innosonvehicles) May 7, 2019
The Government officials from Sierra Leone that visited the Innoson factory in Nnewi on May 4th, 2019 was led by Mr. Edward A. Soloku, the Honourable Minister of Internal affairs who is the supervising minister in charge of their Police affairs.
Expressing interest in Innoson‘s fleets, the delegates communicated Sierra Leone’s plan to incorporate the Nigerian-assembled vehicles in the country’s military.
During the facility tour of the factory, the head of the delegation, Hon Soloku expressed satisfaction on the facilities he and his team saw at the factory as well as the production capacity of Innoson Vehicles and said “truly Africa has come of age to take care of itself without foreign aid”. The Hon Minister further requested that Innoson vehicles should come and establish a company in Sierra Leone. Hon Soloku equally assured Innoson Vehicles that the Sierra Leone Ministry of Defence and The Police Department have concluded plans to order Innoson Vehicles for its operational purposes’.
The visit included Mr. Isaac Ken-Green, General Manager of Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC) who requested that Innoson Vehicles should partner with the SLRTC in other for it to render its services more to the country. The SLRTC equally came into Nigeria with samples of their broken down buses spare parts which they want Innoson vehicles to supply them.
A press release by Cornel Osigwe, Head Corporate Communications at Innoson Group equally listed other members of the Sierra Leonean government delegation to include :
(1) Colonel (Rtd) Simeon Nasiru Sheriff – Deputy Minister of Defense.
(2) Brigadier General Usman Turay – Assistant Chief of Defense Staff, Support and Logistics.
(3) Lt Col Muctar S. Tejan – Military Assistant to the Deputy Minister of Defense.
(4) Major Brima Davowah Sama- Commanding Officer, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Workshop.
The Police department delegation included:
Mr. Edward .A. Soloku
Minister of Internal affairs.
(2) Mr. Patrick A.T. Johnson -Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG)
(Head of Operations)
(3) Mr. Daniel.A. Bongroh – Chief Superintendent of Police CSP
(Head of Transport and Technical)
(4) Mr. Prince Henry Ansumana. – (Assistant Superintend of Police ) ASP.
(Head of Procurement)
Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation (SLRTC), delegation were
(1) Isaac Ken-Green:
General Manager (SLRTC)
(2) Mohamed Tejan-Kella:
Head of Finance and Manager (SLRTC)
(3) Osman Kanu:
Head of Operations and Technical Manager (SLRTC)
Also in the delegation were Mr Maxwell Lamin Marah (Sierra Leone) and Mr Joseph Emeka Orji (United Kingdom).
The factory visit was in response to an earlier official visit made on April 9th, 2019 to Sierra Leone by Chief Dr. Innocent Chukwuma OFR on the invitation of the the Sierra Leoneon President, His Excellency, Brig. Dr. Julius Maada Bio.(Rtd).
Observers in Nnewi see this move as a further cement on the bond between Sierra Leone and Nigeria, keeping much of West African wealth within the ECOWAS sub region, rather than exporting hard currency and jobs to the Asian and European countries.
It is widely believed that President Maada Bio of Sierra Leone has asked Dr. Chukwuma to set up a vehicle manufacturing plant in his country