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20 December 2015

WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE PIONEER NATIONAL PRESIDENT

Hon (Amb) Odo Vincent Okoko on the Occasion of the Inauguration and Award of VOAN 17/12/2015

Your Excellency, the Executive Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Your Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Joseph Wayas, the Former Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Your Excellency, the Executive Governors hereby present, your Excellency Mrs. Aisha Buhari, the First Lady of Nigeria, your Royal Highness, Alhaji Musa Idris, the Emir of Jigwa, the Hon. Ministers hereby present; distinguished journalists and ladies & Gentlemen. I feel highly honored to welcome you all and especially our members from across the country that have risk their lives despite the peculiarity of this season to grace this official launching and inaugural Award ceremony. It is my prayers that God in his infinite mercy shall lead you all back safely.

Vehicle Owners Association of Nigeria like other similar associations around the world was founded to promote the growth and welfare of members and the Transport & Automobile Sector of the economy of our dear country.

It is with this in mind that we show-case before you today, those who have contributed positively to our transportation & motoring experience as a nation and in shaping the automobile industry in the year 2015. We are indeed proud to be associated with this great individuals and organizations. I therefore, stand before you today to congratulate all those who are recipients of our meritorious Award of Excellence.

The Vehicle Owners Association of Nigeria (VOAN) is an organization approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria with over 20 million potential members to facilitate the new regime of improved transportation system, Vehicle Owners welfare, Easier Vehicle ownership strategies, Curbing human right abuses against Vehicle Owners by other road users and Safe motoring culture & practice in Nigeria through Advocacy, Collaborations with some Government & non-Governmental Agencies, Membership enlightenment and Membership solidarity taking advantage of the cutting edge technological development in the online environment.

The Association’s Vision is:

“To be Nigeria’s most influential and credible voice in the transport and automobile sector, a formidable force in influencing sector policies and practices; with strong local and international recognition in all issues affecting the Nigeria Vehicle Owners, Vehicle supporting infrastructures, Vehicle Manufacturers, Auto Vendors, Vehicle consumables and other related industries.”

The Association’s Mission is:

“To effectively represent the members to achieve our collective objectives while serving as agents of development by collaborating with the various stakeholders and Government in driving all the change indices while ensuring public appreciation of the importance of Vehicle Owners in the scheme of things.”

In other words, ensuring balanced national legislative, regulatory and fiscal policy to provide the enabling framework and environment for effective transportation system is at the very core of the existence of this Association.

For want of time, the detail objectives of the Association are captured in the program handbook we shared earlier-on and on the Association’s website and I humbly encourage us to acquaint ourselves with them.

In view of the laudable objectives of the Association which are in synch with that of the FRSC, VIO and the Police, we shall be sponsoring some of these Regulators’ programs and shall be partnering with them to ensure that Vehicle Owners in Nigeria and their Drivers enjoy excellent motoring experience through sound knowledge and regulatory compliance culture building while annually donating significant percentage of our incomes to Education.

Furthermore, Nigeria is at a vantage position to sustain a viable automotive sector. Nigeria’s potential vehicle market is over a million annually with increasing capacity for more. Forecasts have it that the Nigerian market will soon become the major hub of automotive business in Africa and therefore a market any serious investor cannot ignore in the automotive industry. We therefore encourage credible Vehicle manufacturers all over the world to establish there plants in Nigeria especially those who have been nominated for our recognition and awards today.

Indeed, today is a great day in our history as it provides for us another opportunity to encourage our members, organizations in the transport & automobile sector, and indeed, the society to imbibe discipline, focused-mindedness and commitment to national goals which are the bed-rocks upon which our founding fathers built the country. It is these attributes that has placed this country among committee of great nations.

But again, today provides an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the devastating effects of terrorism and social-economic sabotage as it affects the Transport and Automobile Sector in particular. The economic down-turn due to dwindling oil price with a cry for help from all well-meaning Nigerians as we enter the year 2016 and the need for Nigerians in the various sectors to form associations to assist the Government of the day wither these storms cannot be over-emphasized.

As we enjoy the rest of the occasion, let us also pause and challenge ourselves on ways and manners to assist and encourage our new Government of change and our amiable President, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Bahuri and his economic team as the lead us out of the woods to the promise land.

Once again, I welcome you all to this occasion. Please enjoy your stay.