By Theodore Opara
Renowned vehicle assembler VON Automobile Nigeria Limited has refuted Senate allegations of economic sabotage.
VON Automobile’s Managing Director Adetokunbo Aromolaran expressed this remark in his speech at an extraordinary session with the media at a guided tour of the company’s facility in Ojo, Badagry Highway Lagos.
Senator Hope Uzodinma-led Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff had on October 28 during one of its oversight assignments claimed it discovered 1,500 units of exotic vehicles concealed in the Volkswagen warehouse, wondering if the vehicles were assembled at a deserted facility with disused equipment, he was quoted.
The Senate Committee consequently labeled VON Automobile as economic saboteur, warning it would organize a public hearing to unravel allegations of sharp practices even when the Nigeria Customs Service public relations officer Wale Adeniyi was quoted as saying he couldn’t verify the development.
VON Automobile Limited is the local assemblers of Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen passenger cars with Ashok Leyland and Iveco buses and trucks respectively.
Dismissing the allegations as smirk of a preconceived plan to embarrass VON Automobile, the director described the company as a responsible organization guarded by ethical values and believe in the rule of law and constituted authority in the discharge of its duty, even when times become frustratingly overbearing, he says.
Mr. Aromolaran who claimed the oversight visit to the plant was presumptuous said: “We were at a loss whether the oversight team was a visit to VON Automobile Nigeria Limited, the vehicle assembly plant or a customs raid on a commodity warehouse.
“Little wonder there was disbelief when they were told no commodities were warehoused on the premises but on insistence, they inspected all warehouses even those not under VON operations and didn’t discover a grain of any commodity – an operation, which in itself, was illegal,” the plant helmsman declared.