NAN, Innoson Motors tango over purported “new” bus


Photo: The purported “new” bus IVM supplied to NAN for N50m.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Africa’s largest news agency and local vehicle manufacturing company, Innoson Vehicles Manufacturing Company Limited, (IVM) are currently enmeshed in a controversy over a purported new bus supplied to the agency by IVM.

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NAN has demanded the immediate replacement of the said vehicle, which is a 30-seater staff bus purchased for a whooping N49.5 million.

The demand was made in a letter the agency despatched to IVM even as it expressed regrets over the patronage of the Made-in-Nigeria vehicle.

The letter dated Jan. 16, 2023, and signed by the agency’s Principal Legal Officer, Ms Mojirola Eniola, stated in part:

”Following the failure of your organisation to meet our demands for the evacuation and replacement of the faulty 30-seater bus (IVM6751) supplied to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) within seven (7) days of the receipt of our letter dated January 6, 2023;

“We have been left with no choice but to return the vehicle to your premises.”

It was the second time that the Agency would be rejecting the company’s vehicles due to either non compliance with specifications or mechanical fault.

The agency said that it was In line with the Buhari administration’s admonition to MDAs to patronise local industries, that it sometime in 2021 approached the vehicle manufacturers to supply it a 30-seater bus for its workers.

NAN had paid the sum of N49.5 million, including taxes, for the purchase of the bus on Nov. 17, 2021.

Trouble, however, started when the company on Nov. 16, 2021, delivered a 30-seater bus that was not in line with the specifications it reached with the Agency.

The agency promptly rejected the bus and directed its solicitors to demand a replacement in line with agreed specifications.

In its Feb. 1, 2022, letter to IVM through its solicitors, the agency demanded a replacement within 14 days or face legal action.

Responding to the threat, IVM  in a letter dated Feb. 14, 2022, apologised to NAN for the inconvenience it had caused the Agency.

”We want to use this medium to apologise to your client (NAN) for any inconvenience that they may have experienced due to their complaint.”

The letter which was signed by a Director, Jonas Ojukwu, claimed that the company does not sell refurbished vehicles, and promised to replace the rejected vehicle.

”We will bring in a replacement brand new Innoson 30-seater bus to your client  (News Agency of Nigeria) before the fourteen (14) days that you stated from the date of receipt of your letter and we shall retrieve the one supplied before now.

”We want to assure you that our business relationship will not be thwarted by any form of dissatisfaction for our desire is to serve our customers to the best of their satisfaction,” Ojukwu stated.

In spite of the assurances in Ojukwu’s correspondence, the replacement vehicle delivered to NAN on April 8, 2022, only worsened the agency’s transportation woes as it was dogged by successive mechanical faults.

Before the eventual evacuation of the vehicle to IVM’s Abuja office, the bus had been lying idle in the agency’s premises for several months due to mechanical faults.

The Agency’s Head of Technical Department, Aaron Miller, said the vehicle since delivery had been permanently grounded due to a faulty gear box.

He said several appeals made to IVM’s Abuja office to evacuate the vehicle for repairs were ignored.

”We made several representations to them to repair this faulty gear box all to no avail.

”On the three occasions their technicians showed up to ostensibly repair the vehicle, the problems persisted, causing embarrassment to the agency,” he said.

Frustrated by the vehicle company’s noncommittal response in evacuating the vehicle, the agency issued another seven-day ultimatum to IVM in a letter dated Jan. 6.

This was to be followed by a final notice in a Jan. 16, 2023 letter and NAN eventually towing of the faulty vehicle to the Abuja premises of IVM last Tuesday after the company reneged on its pledge to evacuate the vehicle.(NAN)

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