Inside Innoson Motor Manufacturing Plant Nnewi Nigeria - World's First Black-Owned Car Manufacturer
The youngest among six children, Chief (Dr) Innocent Ifediaso Chukwuma
(OFR), was born into the family of Mr & Mrs Chukwuma Mojekwu of Uru-Umudim,
Nnewi, in Anambra State, without the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth.
But, what he lacked in affluent parental background, he made up for with
intelligence, hard-work, discipline and business acumen - qualities that
have continued to interplay remarkably in his many ventures.
In February 2007, Chukwuma embarked on what some analysts perceived then as
a mission impossible, when it incorporated INNOSON Vehicle Manufacturing
Company Limited (IVM), to produce sundry commercial automobiles, utility
vehicles and passenger cars, in collaboration with a consortium of Chinese
With the public display of some of the vehicles at the 2nd Nnewi
International Auto Trade Fair held at the Beverly Hills Hotels (Gabros
Sports Complex) in the last quarter of 2009, IVM did not only silence the
critics, but made a bold statement about its readiness to achieve the
avowed mission of being the first (indigenous) auto maker to produce truly
Nigerian vehicles that are affordable and reliable.
IVM is today a success story which has attracted effusive commendations and
awards from various quarters, including the nation's seat of power. While
opening the plant on October 15, 2010, President Goodluck Jonathan not only
hailed Chukwuma for the courage of venturing into an industry many ran away
from, but also assured him of government's patronage from the government.
But even before the President's visit, IVM had attracted an official
delegation from the Ghanaian government, which through a minister, dangled
incentives before Chukwuma with an appeal to come over to Accra for talks
on how he could set up a similar plant in the former Gold Coast.
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