PRESS CONFERENCE HERALDING 2ND Annual Nigeria Automotive Industry Award held on 9th October, 2023 in Lagos

My colleagues, the gentlemen of the Press,

It is my utmost pleasure to welcome you to this briefing as relates to the activities of our Non-Governmental Organisation: Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative; these past ten years of its establishment.


In September, 2009 I organized the first Re-Orientation Seminar for members of Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Lagos State Chapter at the Olubi Events Centre located on Okota-Cele Road in Okota area of Isolo, Lagos. I used New Era Communications Limited; a personal company; incorporated by Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria in August 1988, but the event didn’t attract expected number of participants.

While planning that event, I approached Oando Plc and Eterna Plc; two lubricant producers which supported the seminar with the sum of Twenty Thousand Naira and One Hundred Thousand Naira respectively. However, the monetary support wasn’t enough to even write-off the hall rental bill.

Along the line of planning, I had envisaged that I was going to have huge sales of NATA News Magazine, with which I’ld make the balance payment for the hall.

But it became dramatic as the few NATA members that showed up for the seminar were not allowed to access the venue by the owner who probably sensing that I would not be able to raise his balance payment; as he saw scanty participants. He instantly insisted on getting the full payment; before he could allow us use the hall.

I had to submit a post-dated cheaque to the owner, Chief Olubi 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 my aid; except my bosom friend, Mr. Henry O. Eduwaye, who was then a senior management staff of Daily Independent (Nigeria) Newspapers.

Days after the seminar, Chief Olubi approached the banks to redeem the cheaques, but the two different accounts were yet to be adequately funded.

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

Please note that I had not much experience in event packaging before the first seminar, but I had to put on my thinking cap and I discovered that not all corporate companies would be willing to offer other companies ‘lee-ways’ in the area of endeavour he was pursuing.

I therefore made-up my 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 Marshal/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.

The attendance during the program wasn’t huge, but encouraging. And strategically, in order to attract huge crowd of participants the NGO organized Auto Fire Accident Prevention Awareness Campaign right inside Ojota Garage in Lagos on Tuesday 10th day of December, 2013 and there was a commendable turn-out of commercial driver-participants.

In 2014, the Second Annual 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.

Still in the year 2014, Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative organized Urban Traffic Management Workshop at Surulere in Lagos during which respectable UNILAG Professor of Geography, Prof. Samuel Iyiola Oni presented a paper.

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

Between years 2016 and 2017, we organized series of safety related events in Lagos; until the year 2018, when the Board of Trustees of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative organized its First Annual Road Safety Awareness Conference & Usage of Genuine Engine Oil Advocacy for members of Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA).

The association’s National President, Comrade (Engr.) Dr. Magaji Muhammad Sani and the National General Secretary, Comrade Musa Othman Yahaya as well as other national and Lagos State Chapter executives led their members in multitude to the event.

11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria) and Eterna Plc supported us on that remarkable outing.

It is on record that the Management of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria) encourage us to move such an impactful program out of Lagos.

Therefore on the 1st of November, 2018, the Board in conjunction with NATA News organized Road Safety Awareness Seminar & Usage of Genuine Engine Oil Advocacy for members of same Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association in Osun State, Nigeria. The program was held in Osogbo, the state capital. 

To a greater credit to the Management of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria) for their resolute support; we have replicated this program 2 more times in Lagos (2019 & 2022).

We have successfully organized the program in Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayela and Kwara States, as well as in Ilesa, Osun State in early 2021, Abuja, the Nation’s Federal Capital Territory and Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State on 13th June, 2023 during which events; 11 Plc committed huge encouraging resources.


I must state here gentlemen that the Objective of our NGO striving for: ‘Reduction of road accidents through campaigns, seminars and workshops for stakeholders in the Nigeria Automotive Sector’ has been achieved in the sense that we have been able to positively impact on the practitioners in the automotive repair/ maintenance sector to carry out their duties/trades in the most ethical ways to eliminate accidents that occurred on the roads, but which could be traceable to shoddy repair/maintenance sessions in the workshops.

Aging Repair/Maintenance Practitioners:

To our greater dismay, the Board of Trustees of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative discovered that reasonable percentage of the current automobile repair/ maintenance technicians in the country are aging and are not adequately equipped; education-wise to embrace and acquire requisite latest automotive technology and developments to be properly fit to function as repairers of modern day automobiles that nowadays come with sophisticated brain boxes.

West Africa Automotive Institute

The above stated reasons led the Board of Trustees of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative to establish the West Africa Automotive Institute which infrastructure was launched on Wednesday 14th December, 2022 during the 1st Nigeria Annual Automotive Industry Award at the Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja, here in Lagos.

There is no doubt that the universities and polytechnics are doing so much to train engineering graduates to manage technical challenges at the workshops. However, the West Africa Automotive Institute is established to address the obvious gaps therein and to train and re-train younger people from the communities and colleges on the best and most authoritative technics of automobile maintenance.

The Institute on rental basis gotten an enormous facility at Ilesa, Osun State early this year for use as its temporary campus; but unfortunately, after we made payment, we were rudely shocked to discover that there was a subsisting rental on the property.

Recently however, we commenced conversation with the Federal Government of Nigeria to concede one of its ministry’s properties situated in Osun State to the institute to use as campus.

The West Africa Automotive Institute is a novel idea that will elevate knowledge and practice and create young people who will drive our safe driving and durable motor car initiative with emerging technology from vehicle manufacturing plants to the mechanic workshops.

To fully make the institute functional in the effective training of technicians for the automobile market on motor vehicle maintenance technics, auto electrical technics, global fabrication, electronic parts identity codes, internet communications in automobile engineering, design, safety practices and budget management at the various vehicle workshops in the country and beyond, we are still looking up to the federal, State and Local governments, companies and kind hearted individuals for donations and sponsorships to drive the process.

The Nigeria Automotive Industry Award:

 The Nigeria Automotive Industry Award is established to recognize enterprise, encourage creativity and to reward excellence among key players in the motoring industry in Nigeria.

Indeed, the award is to induce standard work ethics and discourage fake automotive lubricants, parts and allied products that is seriously adversely distressing the industry and the nation’s economy.

It was in realization of these lofty objectives that the foundation for Nigeria Annual Automotive Industry Award was laid on Wednesday 14th December, 2022 at the Sheraton Hotel in Ikeja, Lagos; during which; Toyota Motors, JAC Motors, CFAO Motors & its Isuzu automobile, Mobil Oil, Oleun Oil were honoured with various awards.

Gentlemen of our noble profession, I am pleased to inform you that the 2nd edition of the Award is coming up at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria on Monday 27th November, 2023 with the theme: ‘Celebrating the best & brightest of the Nigeria Automotive Industry’

 During this year’s Award, the categories of Award has been enlarged and several sectors of the industry has been considered appropriate for honour.

I shall be giving you our list of 2023 award nominees for your advanced knowledge sake and to please treat in the most ‘sacred’ way until the date of award when winners shall finally emerge.


Humbly, I, Samuel Oloyede Oriowo wish to remain yours truly in this most dignifying pen profession.

At a tender age of 21 years, I was lucky to get a job with the Nigeria Television Authority, the then original NTA Channel 10, Lagos.

I worked there for about 5 years before gaining admission to study journalism at the prestigious Nigeria Institute of Journalism from where I moved to the print media; worked at West Coast Communications Limited, publishers of Business-in-Ecowas.

That was where I met my bosom friend, Mr. Henry O. Eduwaye who practically taught me newspaper/magazine as well as commercial stationeries production.

He is today the Deputy President of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative.

As you can see, we have some of our members and officials here, present.

Reference sake:

Gentlemen, what you have just listened to; is my story and the story behind the success of our Non-Governmental Organisation; which began on a sore note; but which due to determination to leave a lasting positive legacy in the Nigeria Automotive Industry has become a sweetest tonic now; propelling us to continue to conquer the impossibilities in the face of our various endeavours.

This is the first leg of activities marking our Organisation’s 10th Year Anniversary.

I thank you all for listening.



Tel: +2347083808902

Text of address presented by Samuel Oloyede Oriowo, President of Automobiles And Road Safety Initiative at the Press Conference held on Monday 9th October, 2023 in Surulere, Lagos to herald the 2nd Nigeria Annual Automotive Industry Awards

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