Obiano writes Buhari, demands ‘high’ national honours for CEOs of Air Peace, Innoson Motors

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Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has asked President Buhari to confer to what described as “high” national honours on the CEO of Air Peace, Allen Onyema and CEO of Innoson Motors, Innocent Chukwuma, who are two illustrious sons of the state.

According to a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Don Adinuba, today, the governor made the request in a letter sent to President Buhari yesterday.

Don said Obiano hinged his request on the two businessmen’s “path-changing contributions to national development”.

“These two gentlemen are deserving of everything in gold,” Obiano was quoted to have said in the letter.

“They have changed the narrative of Nigeria’s development for the better.

“The whole nation remembers with nostalgia how Chief Onyema sent his wide-bodied aircraft to South Africa two years ago to bring back free of charge hundreds of Nigerians stranded in the country when South Africans launched xenophobic attacks on our fellow countrymen.

“He invested a fortune in it and ensured that Air Peace maintained the highest standards in the world in terms of the state of the art equipment, safety, staff training, as well as ground and in-flight services.”

Citing noteworthy contributions of the CEO of Air Peace, the governor commended Onyema for his decision to build a hanger at Anambra International airport and for his contribution in ensuring that Embraer builds a service centre for the African in the state.

“These two projects will go a long way to make our airport a truly air transportation hub in Nigeria, if not the whole of West Africa, as envisaged by the government which has ensured that it is the most modern airport in the country and the airport with the longest runway in Africa. The world’s biggest planes can land there easily,” he said.

The governor who also praised the contribution of the CEO of Innoson Motors, and described him as a “tough-minded, visionary and patriotic Nigerian”.

“Not even the colossal government failure to sustain motor assembly plants in Nigeria over the decades could deter this entrepreneur, who went into business with modest means as motorcycle seller, from dreaming big and building the nation’s first motor manufacturing firm,” he said.

“Only a tough-minded, visionary and patriotic Nigerian could venture into industrialization on a large scale as Chief Chukwuma has done, considering the poor state of infrastructure in the country like electric power and the high cost of funds, to say nothing about hyper competition from Western and Asian automobile multinationals.

“The constant and remarkable improvements in Innoson vehicles have added to their competitiveness; they compete on both quality and price.

“Today Innnoson motors are sold all over Nigeria and beyond, thus flying Nigeria’s flag in different countries, just like Chief Allen whose airline operates into different African countries and into the United Arab Emirates with plans to extend flights to the United Kingdom, China, India, United States, etc.

“These two Anambra sons are earning foreign exchange for the country making the whole nation proud.

“They are eminently deserving of the national highest honours for their selfless and patriotic services which will ginger them to do more and encourage other citizens to follow in their noble footsteps.”