By Theodore Opara
Auto firms’ donation of COVID-19 palliatives has been commended by the Federal Government.
Leading auto companies in the country, such as Stallion Group, CFAO, GAC Motors, Mandilas Group, Weststar Associates, Toyota Nigeria Ltd., Elizade Motors, Innoson Motors and Simba Motors have all contributed in different ways to support the federal and state government on the fight against the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Jelani Aliyu, Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC, the FG’s agency saddled with the development and regulation of the nation’s automotive industry, stated that the contributions of these companies is worthy of emulation by operators in other sectors of the economy.
Jelani added that NADDC’s actions had shown that the stakeholders are committed to safeguarding and strengthening societies across the nation.
He said: “Automotive stakeholders such as Innoson, Simba and others have also risen to the occasion of producing relevant health-related vehicles such as ambulances.”
It would be recalled that prominent automotive industry players such as Stallion group, CFAO, CIG, Weststar, Toyota Nigeria Limited, among others had given their supports to the government in the fight against Covid-19.
Stallion Empowerment Initiative, the philanthropic arm of Stallion Group, is supplying locally-produced rice and fish to all the government-run hospitals dedicated to COVID-19 for three months, which it started in April.
CEO of Stallion Group, Anant Badjatya, further committed one staff bus each for the five government-run COVID-19 hospitals in Lagos.
The multinational group is also providing drivers and fuel for these buses. This arrangement will help ensure safer and comfortable transportation of our health care workers who are in the frontline in this fight against the virus.
Chairman, Stallion Group, Mr. Sunil Vaswani, stated that “these are exceptionally difficult times and urgent emergency resources have to be deployed to cope with the needs of affected states and support their health care systems.
“At Stallion Group, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees, customers and our community. There is nothing greater than the safety of the people of this country and it is our responsibility to support the government and the community in this time of need.
“We are deeply grateful to every health care worker and person who has risked their life to fight this pandemic and will continue to support them.”
Also, foremost auto company in Nigeria, Massilia Motors, (sole distributor of Mitsubishi Motors in Nigeria), has provided food items to 1000 homes in Ijora, a suburb of Lagos State, where the company’s headquarters is located.
The food items including bags of rice, beans, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, pasta, tomato pastes among others were handed over on Thursday, April 9, to Oba Abdul Fatai Aremu Aromire, the Ojora of Ijora, by a Massilia Motors team led by the Deputy Managing Director of the company, Mr. Kunle Jaiyesimi.
While commending the efforts of government in checking the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the DMD said the company’s gesture “is a way of alleviating the hardship the COVID-19 lockdown may have on the people in our neighbouring community.”
Massilia Motors is a joint venture of CFAO and Chanrai Group, focused on automotive needs in Nigeria.
Toyota Nigeria Limited, TNL, the sole distributor of Toyota Motor Corporation in Nigeria and its foremost dealer Elizade Nigeria Limited, ENL, also donated three units of ambulances to Lagos State Government to support the government in its fight to eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
According to the Chairman of TNL and Founder ENL, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, “COVID-19 is a vicious virus that is presently ravaging people all over the world. Everything humanly possible must be done to quickly contain the pandemic.
“The government needs the support of all well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organizations to fight the evil scourge and all hands must be on deck.”
The Managing Director of Toyota (Nigeria) Limited, Mr Kunle Ade-Ojo added that “the gesture is in recognition and commendation of the continuous effort of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his indefatigable team to contain the spread of the virus.”
In another development, Chairman of CIG Motors Company Limited, Chief Diana Chen, donated N20 million, an ambulance and 50,000 face masks to combat COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
“Now more than ever”, she said, “we all need to show serious concern and commitment to eliminating the threat of this virus so that we can return to our daily lives before the outbreak.”
CIG Motors Company Limited is the promoters of the GAC Motor brand in Nigeria, and Chen has been a crucial voice in rallying the Chinese business community in the country to support government’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
Weststar Associates Limited, representative of Mercedes Benz in Nigeria, donated a brand new Mercedes Benz Axor 1823 waste management truck to the Lagos State government.