The name Innocent Chukwuma rings a bell to a lot of Nigerians, but not as much as it does in the South East and environs. Outside of the South East, his company, however, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing, is a very familiar name to many.
In this post, we would x-ray his reach and influence among people outside of his region.
Who is Innocent Chukwuma?
Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma is an Investor and a businessman. He is the owner and CEO of the first Indigenous automobile manufacturing company in Africa, Innoson Vehicle manufacturing. The Nnewi man from the heart of Anambra State Nnewi also has other companies including Innoson Nigeria Limited, tasked with assembling and manufacturing motorcycles, tricycles, spare parts, and accessories. Innoson Technical and Industrial Co. Ltd, produces quality plastics, storage containers, safety accessories, and so on. Innoson General Tyres and Tubes co. Ltd, Produces motorcycle Tyres and Tubes.
All these companies form the Innoson Group of Companies.
Innocent Chukwuma is the youngest of six children born into the family of Chukwuma Mojekwu. Innocent is married to Ebele Chukwuma with children. He is the younger brother of Gabriel Chukwuma, popularly known as Gabros and who used to own a well-known football club, Gabros International.
How do Non-Igbos Rate Innocent Chukwuma?
Innoson has expanded his sales into neighboring countries like Ghana, Togo, Chad, Niger and Sierra Leone and so perhaps we should be asking how Non-Nigerians rate him (and perhaps we will) but for now, it is about how non-Igbos view him.
Innocent Chukwuma seems to have a lot of fans from the Non-Igbos nation. You can call them patriotic Nigerians who would always support and defend what is Nigerian at any cost. He is highly rated in this cycle, these Nigerians are hoping for more innovative minds like his.
Nigerians who are active on Social Media (especially Twitter) rate Innoson highly. They may not know the name behind it but they know Innoson is one of us and they are willing to re-post, comment, commend, and harp anything Innoson related.
The story of Osuolale Farouq, the Nigerian youth who redesigned the company’s logo and shared it on Twitter, probably added to his popularity and that of the company.
Nigerians who watch Big Brother know the brand too well.
The made-in-Nigeria lovers are huge supporters of Innoson Vehicles.
They have showered the company with praises for their interior and exterior designs, strength, and durability. Innoson Vehicles are built to serve the Nigerian roads, and you can call it the Bugatti of Nigeria and Africa, and you would be right.
Every coin has two sides and the other side of this coin contain people who believe (erroneously) that made-in-Nigeria goods are not durable. What they see whenever they catch a glimpse of Innoson Vehicles is an automobile that is Nigerian in an unflattering sense. Most of the Nigerians in this circle are there for sentimental reasons.
You can’t also rule out people who view Innoson Group of Company as belonging to just a certain section of the country.
A debate still stands amongst Nigerians, Igbos and others, about the price of Innoson’s products, especially the automobile. Some say the prices of his vehicles debunks the mission of the company, which is to make new cars available to Nigerians, as many as possible. They claim Innocent targets his products at the rich without regard for average citizens. And Nigerians would eventually maintain the purchase of old vehicles (including Innoson Vehicles) over new ones.
There is a growing minority of people who understand the reason for the pricing of Innoson product high tax the government placed on the company. Also, 70% of the car parts are produced locally, while the remaining 30% is sourced from Japan, China, and Germany in foreign currencies.
“If you weigh naira against this country’s currency, you’ll see how cheap these vehicles are sold in Nigeria,” said Mr. Faloye, a lawyer and public affairs analyst from Ondo state.
Innoson has also been tagged a copycat. There are claims his design for the military’s operation “Lafia Dole” is a copy of Benz’s G-wagon. You would agree that there are lots of cars that look like the G-wagon. Besides, Jeep was the first with that design.
Generally, the business magnate is highly rated by the Non-Igbos. This might not be publicly stated but his life story serves as an inspiration to a lot of these people. Mostly, it is Innoson the brand they know and not Innocent Chukwuma the face behind the brand.
This post was written by Kelvin. Born in Ondo and studied in Kogi, he sent this from Warri where he resides.
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