Commissioning Of The Toyota Service & Research Facility Centre In Lagos On 21/03/2022
SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE COMMISSIONING OF THE TOYOTA SERVICE AND RESEARCH FACILITY CENTRE IN OSHODI, LAGOS ON THE 21ST OF MARCH, 2022
I must thank Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo, Managing Director of Toyota Nigeria Limited, the Board and Management of the company for the kind invitation to join you today for the commissioning of this state-of-the-art Toyota Certified Service Centre.
There are several Toyota service centres across the country, but this facility is probably the first of its kind in Nigeria and certainly in West Africa. And I must confess to being quite fascinated by the multiple resources and outcomes that this facility possesses and is designed to achieve.
It is not merely a service centre for providing quality after-sales service (although we are told that is one of the objectives for establishing it), it is actually developed as a teaching, research and resource centre, to provide dealers with world-class, practical hands-on training.
It is what is called a “Dojo Centre” – a big simulation and immersive learning facility. The word DOJO in Japanese means ‘a place of the way.’ It is, in general parlance, a place for martial arts training.
But in the manufacturing context, a DOJO Centre serves as a workshop for immersive learning, skilling, re-skilling and right-skilling of workers. So, here, real-life situation research and experiments will be undertaken and the results will be applied to the resolution of customer and dealer issues.
But perhaps as important is the value of the facility for the gathering of firsthand market intelligence and feedback on customer experience and expectations.
This is in line, as the Managing Director has pointed out, with the Toyota global philosophy of Genchi Gembutsu, the essence of which is the importance of obtaining first-hand knowledge, by going to the source to experience things first-hand.
Also as we have heard, the facility has been built to standards comparable to the most sophisticated around the world, with the latest best-in-class equipment and modern technology designed to deliver superior, world-class services to vehicle owners in Nigeria. I think Toyota Nigeria deserves commendation for its focus on capacity development in the automotive industry.
One of the chief problems in our industrialization effort is the skills gap, especially middle cadre technical and engineering skills. So an intentional and aggressive public and private sector synergy in developing this type of capacity is crucial. Our work (Federal Government) with the private sector at the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council underscored and honed this approach.
Also recently the president launched the investing in Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme (i-Dice), an over $600million facility by the AfDB, that will support young tech and creative sector entrepreneurs through the provision of finance, skills development and infrastructure.
This year also, the Nigeria Jubilee Fellows Program will begin. Every year under the programme 20,000 graduates, after their youth service, will be given fully-paid internships that will last for 12 months in reputable private and public sector organizations across the country such as Toyota Nigeria Limited.
The idea will be for the participants to gain relevant career and life skills that will enable them to transition seamlessly into professional, business or public sector careers, while also earning a living along the way. The programme will last for five years and it is funded by the Federal Government, the UNDP and the EU.
I think it is important to restate that the Federal Government has committed itself to partner with the private sector recognizing that the private sector is better equipped and resourced to lead the development of the economy.
This position is at the heart of our new Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025. The Plan envisages an investment commitment of N348 trillion, and the private sector is expected to invest N298trillion or about 86% of the projected investments.
This simply means that government must create the most conducive environment for private enterprise in Nigeria. This I am sure you have heard several times, but I must say that this is now absolutely existential for our economy to provide the best circumstances for our private sector to thrive.
The President has by several directives, approvals and executive orders, set in motion and in many cases with the collaboration of the private sector, the most aggressive drive yet for appropriate infrastructure, power, roads, rail, and broadband connectivity yet in the history of our country.
This includes ensuring that our ports work smoothly for trade purposes, building new port complexes and dredging of existing but disused ports, and ensuring that government regulators facilitate rather than hinder business operations.
It is this imperative of aggressively supporting private sector stakeholders that resulted in the 7th iteration of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council’s (PEBEC) 60-day National Action Plan (NAP 7.0), which commenced on the 7th of February and will go on till the 7th of April, 2022.
NAP 7.0 aims to deepen the reforms delivered over the past 5 years with a focus on exports, process automation, improvement in regulatory practices, judicial reforms and Executive Order 01/ReportGov.NG compliance, as well as collaboration with the States all across the country.
At the moment, we are collaborating with Lagos State and Kano State. This is to ensure that services that States have to render in the process of facilitating service and commerce are rendered as smoothly as possible. Examples include the provision of land and building approvals.
We have highlighted key action items in all of the focus areas to ensure that they do not unravel and to ensure that we drive sustainability. Yes, we have reported considerable improvements in the six years since our ease of doing business reforms began, but at the same time, there remains a lot of work to be done.
We believe that diligent implementation of these reforms will encourage game-changing private investments such as this state-of-the-art service centre we will be commissioning here today.
As I conclude let me say that we must all be proud of the achievements of Toyota Nigeria in the past decades.
Toyota is by far Nigeria’s favourite car. But it came to be so because of the foresight, commitment to high values and focused investments of Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, OON, the founder and visioner of this foremost automotive enterprise, starting over 50 years ago with the establishment of Elizade Motors.
Elizade Motors is the majority investor in Toyota Nigeria Limited. Chief Ade-Ojo has demonstrated that it is possible to be honest and principled and still be an outstanding local and international business success.
All that alongside his outstanding commitment to philanthropy and the provision of high quality higher education, over the years. Congratulations sir!
We pray that you will live much longer not just to see the continued success of your children and your businesses, but to see the Nigeria of your dreams.
I will in a few minutes have the privilege of formally commissioning this Toyota Certified Service Centre. I thank you for your kind attention.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.