By Theodore Opara
TOYOTA Nigeria Limited (TNL) has emerged as the auto company of the year at the seventh Nigeria Transport Awards and Lecture held recently at Radisson Blu hotel, Ikeja, Lagos. In a similar vein, the General Manager of Mandilas Motors/Leasing Division, Kemi Koyejo, was also announced as winner of the Distinguished Nigeria Women in Transport and Logistics Award in the Road Transport Mode.
The General Manager was one among the four women who won in the four modes of transport. Others are the Managing Director of Nahco Aviance Plc, Mrs. Olatokunbo Adenike Fagbemi (Aviation); Port Manager of the Apapa Port, Nigeria Ports Authority, Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim (Marine); and the Nigerian Railway Western District Head, Angelique Ikwuka (Railways).
According to the Editor of Transport Day newspaper, organiser of the awards, Mr. Frank Kintum, TNL, the sole accredited distributor of Toyota vehicles in Nigeria, was adjudged the Auto Company of the Year for its well laid organisational structure, transparent mode of operations and delivery of value for money automobiles.
He added that Koyejo who has garnered valuable relevant experience in auto sales of different brands over the years, bagged the award because of her tenacity, network and public relations skills. Her company, Mandilas, is also a leading Toyota dealer in Nigeria.
President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Dr. Uche Messiah Olowu, delivered the lead paper entitled -”Financing the Transport/Allied Industry: Stock Taking and Paving the Way Forward” at the award ceremony.
Notable among the other awardees were the Lagos state Commissioner of Transport, Mr. Ladi Lawanson; the Managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Abiodun Dabiri; and the Managing Director of PAN Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Boyi.
Group Managing Director of CFAO Group in Nigeria, Mr. Thomas Pelletier; the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr. Jelani Aliyu; and the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Engr. Fidet Okhiria were also among the winners.
Also, two outstanding lubricant brands were among the few brands that were announced as winners. While Castrol Magnatec, by Eterna Plc won the Motor Oil of the Year, Motul, by Infinity, went home with the Best New Entrant Motor Oil award. They were other winners in other modes of transportation.