With 14 years of experience as an automobile dealer, Ikechukwu Ogbonna, in a recent interactive session with newsmen in Lagos last week, gave an insight into why there is a huge influx of low quality automobiles into the country.
He blamed importation of low-quality automobiles on customer’s demand.
He told journalists that, “it depends on what the customer wants. Some might say they want cheaper cars and they will give you their budget. Some might even ask you to buy from auction. So it depends. Yes, customers are partly responsible for the importation of low quality automobiles because they sometimes come with low budgets”
He however, was of the opinion that the onus lies on automobile dealers to advise prospective customers on the importance of ordering high standard automobiles.
“Our role as automobile dealers is to advise our customers to get good quality automobiles and for safety, they should go for wheel balancing, alignment and equally take other precautionary steps by following safety tips and things like that” he added.
“I have been into this business for more than 14 years. It’s a good business and I have a passion for it. I have always looked forward to being in the automobile industry and I really don’t have any regrets”
He added that rather than allow his experiences with the Nigeria Customs Service has a negative effect on his business, he exploited it to improve on how he runs his automobile business.
“I only learnt that I should not trust any clearing agent to do my clearing for me. Whenever my cars arrive at the port and go through the clearing process, I still confirm the process to be sure it has been done and my mistakes don’t repeat themselves. The Customs is doing their job as they are supposed to because if not for the investigation they did, I wouldn’t have known that the agent played on me after taking a huge amount of money from me for the clearing. I was impressed at the way they carried out their job”, he noted.
For someone who has made a respectable fortune from the automobile business, Ogbonna was quick to assert that the business is worth emptying one’s account to invest in. “It is a very lucrative business. I have made a lot of money from it. I’ll advise anyone to invest in the automobile business, so long as they have passion for it. If you don’t have passion for it, don’t start it because if it flops or doesn’t turn out the way you want, you might end up with regrets”, he said.