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Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative

How sore story became sweetest tonic that now propels us to continue to conquer impossibilities

In September, 2009 Samuel Oloyede Oriowo organized his first Re-Orientation Seminar for members of Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Lagos State Chapter at Olubi Events Centre located on Okota-Cele Road, Okota, Isolo, Lagos through his personal company, New Era Communications Limited and the event didn’t attract expected number of participants.

In order to take proper care of logistics, Samuel Oloyede Oriowo through his company, New Era Communications Limited approached Oando Plc and Eterna Plc; which supported the seminar with the sum of Twenty Thousand Naira and One Hundred Thousand Naira respectively. But the monetary support wasn’t enough to even write-off the hall rental bill.

It became dramatic as the few NATA members that showed up for the seminar were not allowed to access the hall with the organizer as the owner seeing scanty participants instantly demanded for full payment for the use of the hall.

The organizer, Samuel Oloyede Oriowo had to submit a post-dated cheaque to the owner of the hall few hours behind the scheduled commencement of the seminar.

Cleverly, the owner demanded for a supporting cheaque from among the participants and nobody was willing to come to the aid of the organizer; except his bosom friend, Henry Eduwaye, then a senior management staff of Daily Independent Nigeria Newspapers.

Days after seminar was staged, the owner of the hall approached the banks to redeem payment, but couldn’t as the two bank cheques he held on to couldn’t yield any dime.

He then approached the Police and before you know what was going on, Henry Eduwaye was arrested and detained and we both have to raise the balance payment before he could be released.

The not-too experienced organizer had to put on his thinking cap and discovered that not all corporate companies would be willing to offer other companies ‘lee-ways’ in the area of endeavour he was pursuing.

He therefore made-up his mind to join hands with others to establish a Non-Governmental Organisation; as a positive solution to the impediment and which graciously yielded result in February, 2013 as the Board of Trustees of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative was incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria with the Consent of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC); under the leadership of then Corps Mashal/Chief Executive, Osita Chidoka.

The Aims & Objectives of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative includes:

  • Promotion of standard work ethics among auto repair technicians; to comply with auto manufacturers specifications.
  • Advocacy in the area of Production, importation and usage of only genuine auto spare parts, tyres and lubricants to service owners’ vehicles.
  • Reduction of road accidents through campaigns, seminars and workshops for stakeholders in the Nigeria Automotive Sector.

By September of the year 2013, Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative held its first program tagged: First Auto Tyre Safety Day. Attendance during the program wasn’t huge, but encouraging and the Organisation in order to attract huge crowd of participants organized Auto Fire Accident Prevention Awareness Campaign right inside Ojota Garage, Lagos on Tuesday 10th day of December, 2013 and there was a commendable turn-out of commercial driver-participants.

That day however, the Chairman of the Drivers Union in the garage, Comrade Ifeoluwa Adenusi was installed the First Patron of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative.

In 2014, the Second Year of Auto Tyre Safety Day was staged inside Mile 2 International Garage and as expected, there was huge participation of commercial drivers and government’s personnel as well as government agencies’ personnel.

In 2015, Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative organized the Third Annual Auto Tyre Safety Day right inside Adamasingba (Liberty) Stadium in Ibadan and to the organisers disbelief, there was a huge turn-out of commercial drivers led by their then state Chairman, late Comrade Taofeek Ayorinde, popularly called Fele who was promptly installed a Patron of the NGO during the program.

In 2014, Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative organized Urban Traffic Management Workshop at Surulere, Lagos during which respectable UNILAG Professor of Geography, Prof. Samuel Iyiola Oni presented papers.

In year 2018, the Board of Trustees of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative organized its First Annual Road Safety Awareness Conference & Usage of Genuine Engine Oil Advocacy in Lagos during which event there was a huge turn-out of members of Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), led by the Association’s National President, Comrade (Engr.) Dr. Magaji Muhammad Sani and the National General Secretary, Comrade Musa Othman Yahaya.

The Second and Third Annual Road Safety Awareness Conference & Usage of Genuine Engine Oil Advocacy held in Lagos in years 2019 and 2022, respectively.

On first of November, 2018 Road Safety Awareness Seminar & Usage of Genuine Engine Oil Advocacy was staged in Osogbo, capital of Osun State for members of Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Osun State Chapter.

And ever since, the project has been staged in Benin, Edo State on Thursday 7th February, 2019; in Akure, Ondo State in May, 2019; in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State on Thursday 13th February, 2020; in Abeokuta, Ogun State in November, 2020; in Ilesa, Osun State early 2021, in Ilorin, Kwara State in April, 2021 and in Calabar, Cross River State on 10th June, 2021.

In May, 2022 the Board of Trustees of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative staged the Road Safety Awareness Seminar & Usage of Genuine Engine Oil Advocacy in Ibadan, Oyo State; in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory in June, 2022; in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on 13th October, 2022 and in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on 1st December, 2022.

Same gospel of making vehicles safe right from the various technicians’ workshops was also staged in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on 10th April, 2023; and in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State on 13th June, 2023.

Interestingly, the Management of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria) keyed into the nation-wide Seminar/Advocacy from its inception and has continually funded the project; while also donating NATA-Mobil Oil branded Cover-all, T-Shirts and Caps to all participants.

Samuel Oloyede Oriowo, the visioner, who’s the President of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative is determined that not until the Nigeria Auto Technicians are rigidly abreast of their core responsibility of using only genuine spare parts and standard lubricating oils while maintaining customers’ vehicles and not until the generality of the technicians embrace best acceptable professional practices while repairing as well as maintaining owners’ vehicles; that he will not rest on his oars.

The visioner, who is the Publisher as well as Editor-in-Chief of Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA) News Magazine is also determined that not until there’s drastic reduction in road incidents traceable to shoddy handling of electrical as well as mechanical faults in vehicles right inside repair workshops; he’ll continue to lead the campaigns for auto technicians to ensure at all times that all vehicles that pass through their workshops are confirmed to be properly road-worthy.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is our story that began on a sore note; but which has become a sweetest tonic now; propelling us to continue to conquer the impossibilities in the face of our travels round the country risking all to re-orientate the Nigerian Auto Technicians.

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