*As state govt offers to provide training for novel IVM-CRUISE service drivers
*Governor directs Transport Ministry to recruit more staff for State Traffic Management Authority
By Ralph Christopher
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Innoson Group of Companies, Chief (Dr.) Innocent Chukwuma has commended Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State for “ensuring an enabling environment and a favourable investment climate for commercial activities to thrive within the state”.
Chief Chukwuma who made the commendation during the launch of the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Ltd’s novel city transportation service in the state, “aptly christened IVM Cruise”, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for his presence at the epoch-making event, stressing that it was an attestation to his commitment to business development and youth empowerment.
Represented by a Director of the Board of Innoson Group, Mr. Alfred Nwosu, the Chairman disclosed that flag-off was “indeed auspicious as it is the realization of our company’s vision to among other things contribute to the financial empowerment of our people while transforming the city transportation system of our beloved Enugu”.
He explained that the IVM Cruise service “is a unique technology-driven ride hailing service which offers our pilots a good chance of becoming dignified transporters and owners of brand new Innoson Connect Vehicles after an initial period of three years”.
Launching the service, Gov. Ugwuanyi noted that it was reminiscent of global brands such as Uber Technologies, inc. and Lyft inc., and will go a long way to improve transportation in the state, create jobs for the teeming youths, reduce poverty and offer opportunity for startups in transportation business, “as the beneficiaries could become owners of the vehicles after initial three years”.
The governor, who announced that his administration was prepared to provide training for the drivers engaged in the IVM Cruise service, directed the State Ministry of Transport to recruit more staff for State Traffic Management Authority.
He added that the state government will ensure a favourable operating environment, security and enabling physical infrastructure for the transport service to thrive in the state.
Noting that city transportation has been a major plank of his administration, Gov. Ugwuanyi pointed out that it recently undertook measures to optimize service delivery in the sector including the employment of Traffic Officers in the State Ministry of Transport for enhanced traffic management in the city and approval for recruitment of additional Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO).
Other measures, according to the governor, include the procurement of additional two new vehicle Tow Trucks for managing road obstruction and other rescue operations in the state, purchase of operational Motor Bikes for the Ministry and continuous provision of communication gadgets, uniforms and kits for the operations of the Traffic Officers in the state.
“I proudly reckon that the event of today is a watershed in city transportation in Enugu State and I seize this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of Chief (Dr.) Innocent Chukwuma, OFR, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Innoson Group of Companies, to the 21st Century industrial revolution in Nigeria”, Gov. Ugwuanyi said.
Earlier in his address, the State Commissioner for Transport, Rt. Hon. Mathias Ekweremadu, appreciated the laudable partnership between an indigenous automobile company (IVM) and “the government under our capable leader, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Gburugburu)”.
He expressed optimism that the partnership will enhance the transport service extant in the state as well as create jobs for the teeming youths “which has been the topmost priority of our governor”.
Also present at the event were the State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Augustine Nnamani, Chairman of Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Prof. Malachy Okwueze and other members of the State Executive Council (EXCO), Special Advisers to the Governor, the Council Chairmen led by the State Chairman of ALGON, Hon. Solomon Onah, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Hon. Ogbons Idike, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Local Government Service Commission, Chief Charles Mbah, among others.