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Ikoku Herald

Ikoku Herald

The Value Of Motor Batteries

The discovery of automotive batteries in 1700 by Alessandro Volta changes the operations of motor vehicles around the world. Early cars were operated on electrical systems which was assumed to be quiet expensive and complicated. By 1800 key initiatives were made by manufactures which lead to the development of automotive batteries that uses acidic fluids. Then came the development of dry cell batteries in 1971 which did not require refilling with acidic fluids.

According to the Managing Director of Peterson Auto Establishing Dealers on kinds auto batteries, Sir Peter Nwaiwu, battery technology has changed greatly, adding the modern batteries no longer require acids that dry up regularly, rather motor batteries now contain a chemical called :Calcium” which prevents the inbuilt acid from drying up faster.

The experienced battery dealer describe batteries as presently the power and livewire of all automotive engines, adding that without the battery, motor vehicles and other automated devices may be useless to humanity.

According to the battery dealer, none of the batteries in the market are produced in Nigeria and insisted that all batteries in the Nigerian market come from European and Asian countries, particularly Korea and China.

“European batteries have a life span of 3 years while Korea, china and Japan lasts between 1-2 years as the case may be”, he said.

Tips on care for batteries

· Do not keep battery under highly heated area if your vehicle is not in use

·Keep your battery clean, and in airy environment.

·Avoid grease oil and water on your battery surfaces as this may affect the battery cells

·Always fix the battery hold tightly allowing your battery clip to dangle affect the battery cells.

·Do not always remove the battery from the vehicles except in extreme security precautions.

·Don’t keep your battery on bare floors as this may dampen the battery and weaken it.

·Vehicle owners should keep their charging system working to ensure durability of the battery.

Current prices of motor battery in Ikoku

· 75Amp China Product N15,000 – 17,000

75Amp European Made N30,000 – 35,000

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Ikoku Herald

‘Taking Loan To Star Business Is Risky’

Prospective entrepreneurs have been advised to avoid taking loans to start a business.

A Port Harcourt based businessman and motor spare dealer at Ikoku spare parts market, Ikechukwu Innocent gave the admonition in a chat with The Vortex in his office located in the market.

According to the businessman who specializes in the sale of used Japanese Motor shocks and suspension spare parts explained that business starters run the risk of early collapse they depended on loans taken from the banks or from individual for their growth.

He stated that there is the tendency of such business to be choked up by the demands for repayment of the loan and the accruing interests on it.

“For me, I did not start my business with any loan. I started on my own with the funds given to me by my master and the personal saving I had; and help from my parents and friends, and I began to invest the money and gradually I started saving money to grow the business. I will not therefore advice any business beginners to go for loan to start a business”, he emphasized.

Ikechukwu said taking loans to start any business will depend on the understanding between the investor and the pridncipal.

Describing the starting period in business as the most challenging, Ikechukwu stated that he embarke on what he termed, hustling, having to chase for customers but the earlier years of is business before settling down to grow his own business.

Ikechukwu said many traders who made it big in the spare parts business in the market started from hustling (Oso Ahia) before they stabilized.

“As a beginner, I faced challenges then, I use to chase after customer before a customer could buy from me. We had to persuade and persuade the customer to patronize us, but now I can stay in my shop and wait for my customers to come, that’s the way it is”, he explained.

The motor spare parts dealer told The Vortex that he spent 7 years learning the ropes of the business, and added that he ensured that every money that came into the business was appropriately used and deployed to push the business forward and gradually, progressed in it”.

Ikechukwu who described the business of motor spare parts at the Ikoku market as highly rewarding, and explained that traders get them supplies from Onitsha, Nnewi and Lagos markets.

On how to identify the original parts from fakes, the businessman said the difference was always clear, insisting that what it takes is to show the customer the qualities of the items and allow the customer to make the choice of which to buy.

He however lamented the negative effect of the economic crises on the spare parts business, stressing that there is no business in the country that is not feeling the adverse impact of the bad economic policies of the government “The economy is very bad, we are only surviving, the Igbo man will never die, we must survive as usual”, he declared.

On insecurity in the market, Ikechukwu appealed on the security agencies and the government to assist the traders in tackling incidents of criminality in the market.

He maintained that the Ikoku environment is a good place and safe for business transaction; and urged the customers to the market to continue to patronize the market. “All is well here and there is no problem in Ikoku”, he concluded.

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Ikoku Herald

Border Closure Has Induced Inflation, Crippled Businesses

Nnamdi Amadekwa, managing Director of Onyinye-Chukwu and Brothers; a trading Company specializing in sales, services and maintenance of all Japanese, Korea and German cars spare parts; secretary of the Executives of All Line Chairmen at the Ikoku spare parts market in Port Harcourt, shares his years of business experience with The Vortex Newspapers.

Can you tell us how you came into this business?

Well, I have been in this business for over 15 years it was started by my father, Chief Vilalis Iwuji, who was the fast businessman from Abia and Imo to open a shop at the Ikoku spare parts market. After my graduation from the University where I studied Economics, my father decided to push over the management of the business to me. Since then I have been managing the business and by the special grace of God, it has been progressing well.

How would you describe the business since you took over?

Generally, one thing peculiar in every business is ensuring continuing improvement and sustainability. Indeed the business has been on steady improvement in various ways.

We have also witnessed great improvement in technology which has equally helped in the ease of doing business; especially in the area of importation of goods and services. This was not the case some years ago, but these days, with advancement in technology, it is easy to access your goods anywhere in the world. There is no part of the world that a businessman cannot with easy order for goods and services and get them within time. So the business has been experiencing changes but we are moving forward.

Ikoku spare parts market provide major source of spare parts in Rivers State; can you as well tell us how you source for the parts you sell to customers?

We have international business partners and colleagues that we do business with all over the world. Locally, we buy our goods mainly from Nnewi and Lagos and from other parts of Nigeria. I can also tell you that because of the huge amount of money needed to import and clear goods from Japan, Korea and Germany, some people prefer to go to Dubai where they can also get goods and quality products that are assembled by manufacturers from other parts of the world.

Some of our brothers and partners are also bringing in good into the country for us. With the standard regulation set by the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), the issue of fake, adulterated and substandard products imported into Nigeria has been checkmated and controlled. So most of the goods we sell here are quality products that are acceptable anywhere in the world. I think we are doing quite well in the business.

In your 15 years in this business; have you mentored anybody in the same line of business?

Yes, I have mentored over 6 persons in the business and will continue to train more people who are willing to learn the business. Most of the persons who passed through me are doing quite well in their own right.

You started from a foundation laid; how do you think those without similar opportunity can overcome the challenges of starting up?

In our kind of business, we don’t have the opportunity of easily getting loans and other support from the government. Nigerian government neglect small business entrepreneurs like us, without knowing that the sole proprietorship kind of business has the potentials to generate huge revenue to the government which can help to lubricate the nation’s economy. If only the government has been of greater assistance to the private sector, people would be able to easily start off businesses without difficulty.

But because we don’t easily access loans from the banks or the government agencies, it is usually hard for prospective starters to raise funds to begin their own businesses. You must know how to personally, on your own efforts grow your business before any bank can think of giving you assistance through loans. In this instance, business owners and those aspiring to go into business need assistance from government as a way to aid small business to grow.

What should be your advice to people wishing to go into businesses in the country?

First of all, you have to trust in yourself and your capacity to succeed. Secondly, as a businessman, you have to be fair, truthful to yourself and your customers. Don’t live in deceit eating what you have today and forgetting to keep for tomorrow.

Be committed to the kind of business you wish to establish and while doing that, imbibe the spirit of service so that when you finish serving people, people will also serve you better. And always be ready to render good and quality service to people in order to earn their trust, so that when you speak to people they will believe in your integrity. In other words your truth should be sacrosanct.

 Also have good approach to customers because customer’s relation is key to success in any business. If you are intolerant, there is no way you will be able to keep your customers and business partners. Respect your customers; take them as part of the business, because if you toy with them, then you are bound to fail.

There ARE complaints about insecurity in the market, do you think, the government and the security agencies are doing enough on this challenge?

Actually the business environment here in Ikoku is quite challenging and not conducive for business growth. This is because we face a lot of threats from criminals, hoodlums and cultists around here. We are being harassed and attacked daily by these people. The situation has made business difficult for traders and customers in the market.

People are now scared to come here to do business. They now prefer traders bringing the goods to their offices and homes which may be cumbersome because not all traders will be able to serve all customers by going to their homes or offices to deliver goods to them. It would have been better the customers come on their own to the market to personally purchase their preferred goods but they can’t all do so because of fear of being attacked or robbed by these criminals in the market.

What would you say is the impact of closure of the nation’s borders on businesses?

The border closure is really affecting us and our business badly and the situation is putting serious pressure on businesses, particularly small businesses.

The border closure has induced inflation in the country and is now crippling the growth of small business concerns that depend on the movement of goods and services across borders to survive.

The prices of goods have increased and people now are hoarding goods and inflating the costs of goods and services. By the time goods are hoarded it will make prices goods and cost of doing business to go higher. Moreover, the little we make from the sales, we now channel for the upkeep of the family. So even prices of food stuff have increased. You can see we are really handicapped by the skyrocketing prices of goods and service in the country. The means of keeping the family is higher now and this may cause many businesses to fold and close down.

What do you think government should do under the circumstances?

The government should find a way to remedy the situation, quickly open the borders as a matter of exigency. If it is because of the problems of porous borders and securing them, then the government should ensure that only professionals and people of integrity are engaged to man and mange the border to properly checkmate illegal importation of goods and collection of revenue for the country.

The way forward, I think is to train the needed manpower to curtail and checkmate the fraudulent activities at the borders. I do not think closing the borders is for the interest of all Nigerians; because the closure has cost us more harm than good. To ameliorate this hardship, government should consider reopening the borders and urgently engage the appropriate and trained security personnel to adequately and effectively man our border posts.

What is your final advice to traders and customers in the market?

Well, business is a good thing to do and if you organize your business well, you will reap and enjoy the benefits. One thing with business organizations is the need to remain committed to what you do. By the time you show commitment to it, God has a way of showering his blessings on you. To me business is a good thing to go into, but while doing it, you need to have trust in God to help you out.

Line Executives, Task Force

Hold Sensitization Campaign

The leadership of All-Line Chairmen at the Ikoku spare parts market in synergy with the Rivers State Task Force team on street trading and illegal parking has held a sensitization and awareness program for traders and visitors in Ikoku market and its environment.

The awareness activity according to the organizers of the event was to find solution to the intractable problems of traffic congestion and street trading in the market.

Chairman of All-Line Chairmen in the market, High Chief Iwu Alaribeole told The Vortex, that the sensitization programme was arranged by the executives of all the line chairmen in the spare parts market in collaboration with the State Task Force team to ensure total compliance with the order of the task force on illegal parking of vehicles and street trading in the area.

According to High Chief Alaribeole, it is a way of appreciating the good works of the task force and to impress it on the agency to always seek for peaceful and amicable resolution of issues arising in the market.

Alaribeole said the sensitization exercise was successful as it took the team to all sections of the market and appealed to all traders and visitors to the market to always adhere to the rules of include parking and trading mapped out by the task force.

The chairman while appreciating the turnout of traders and customers during the campaign also solicited the continued cooperation of the traders and the task force team in ensuring the orderliness of the market.

Also speaking to The Vortex, secretary of all the chairmen in the market, Nnamdi Amadekwa expressed delight at the success of the campaign, noting that the awareness created by the event is a sign for better things ahead for traders in the market.

The Vortex business correspondent who visited the spare parts market and its adjoining streets reports that the area has been witnessing free flow of traffic, as visitors and customers in the market have maintained orderliness in the parking of vehicles.

Members of the task force were also seen carrying out routine orderly control of vehicular movements in the vicinity.

The Ikoku spare parts market had for years posed grave problems to traders and customers, as customers and traders usually find it difficult to access the Amaigbo area of the market due congestions caused by indisenurate paving of vehicles on the road.

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Ikoku Herald

‘Why Nigerians Should Embrace Solar Energy’

Sir Godwin Chibuka, Managing Director of GONEC Energy Resource, marketers of solar generator lighting, sales and installation of investors, solar batteries and panels; spoke with The Vortex in his office located at the Ikoku Spare Parts market, Port Harcourt; Excepts.

What is solar energy?

Solar energy is a new innovation in alternative power supply for homes and businesses. It is new to a lot of people especially in Nigeria. It is a self generating power system that vitalizes and draws energy from the solar system; sunlight and heat waves around the environment.

The innovation in solar energy and its introduction in Nigeria arise because the country cannot offer 24 hour light, so we decided to venture into the business. The solar power system has been popular and embraced in developed countries as a means to have alternatives power supply.

How have Nigerians embraced solar power?

Well, people have been patronizing and keying into solar power usage but government policies have not helped to create the awareness for massive investment in the sector. Solar power services is capital intensive; it costs a lot of money between N80-N90,000 at least to assemble and install. The economic challenge of the nation has affected the purchasing power presently, unlike, when we started the business before 2015, during the last administration. Now people are more concerned to care for family needs, rather than investing personal resources into power. May I say that that the government is not doing enough to solve those serial challenges of the people?

The power sector seems worsening; how can Nigerians maximize the solar power technology?

Solar power as an alternative means of energy can be promoted through public awareness. Although the government is trying in its way to support and encourage people to venture into it, more needs to be done. Government should liberalize and allow for free duty importation of solar panels to make it easy for people to invest in the sector. Solar is an alternative noiseless innovation for power supply in the sense that you don’t get to hear of all those disturbing, violent and harmful incidents you get from other power supply sources. It is easy to maintain, the energy is renewable and environmental friendly. We encourage Nigerians to go into solar to solve and compliment their energy needs.

How do you think the government can invest or assist Nigerians to afford solar power services?

Yes, it is the responsibility of government to provide public infrastructures like electricity to the people and the people must pay for the services. Alternatively government can also subsidize and introduce policies that can make the technology affordable to the people. You have to also know that the solar technology came with safety devices and measures that make it difficult for people to easily vandalize it as is done to public power infrastructures or installations in Nigeria. It is the duty of the government to devise ways to ensure that the panels and other items used for its installations are made affordable to the populace

After 59 years of nationhood how can Nigeria solve the perennial power problems?

The fact is that our leaders have failed in fixing the public power supply and the general wellbeing of the people. The country is generating about 3000megawatts of power; but how can Nigerians do with such meager supply in a large population as we have. Solar power is the ideal alternative. Although there are appliances solar power may not carry such as air-condition, fridges and others, it can serve and complement the epileptic public power in the country. The Nigerian government needs to engage the needed expertise and technocrats to manage the energy and power sectors.

How would you rate the level of patronage from the government, corporate bodies and individuals?

I can say, we have received more patronage from the private people and the corporate organizations like the NDDC, Shell and other high network individuals and organizations also need the service.

Can you give an insight into the range and costs of solar service?

The range of solar panels depends on individual and specific needs. We have ranges of 1kg up to 40kg. It all depends on what is to be powered and your financial capacity. Like 1kg may cost up to N300,000 with batteries, panels and installation services. It is possible that individuals can cooperatively contribute funds to install solar power water pumps or borehole services.

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Ikoku Herald

PHALGA Boss Assures Adequate Security For Ikoku Spare Parts Market …As Line Executives Visit Mayor

The executive chairman of Port Harcourt City council in Rivers State, Hon. Victor Ihunwo on Tuesday assured the executives of all line chairmen at the Ikoku spare parts market that the council would partner with security agencies in the state to tackle the myriad of security challenges confronting the market.

Hon. Ihunwo spoke while addressing representatives of the executives of the line chairmen in the market led by the leader and chairman of all chairmen in the market, High Chief Iwu Anthony Alaribeole, during a courtesy visit to the council chairman in his office in Port Harcourt.

They mayor who commended the spare parts dealers for the visit, urged them to identify areas of insecurity in the market, promising to liaise with relevant security agencies in order to restore sanity in the troubled areas of the market.

He also called on the traders to cooperate with the state and local government revenue agents towards ensuring that their members pay the approved taxes and levies to the government.

The chairman tasked the market officials to liaise with all the other line chairmen in the market and articulating the needs of the market and those areas where they may want the local council to intervene, adding that the issues raised would be discussed in an enlarged meeting of all the line chairmen in the market, which according to him would to be held soon.

Earlier, leader of the team with the view to and chairman of all line chairmen in the market, High Chief Alaribeole, while introducing other executive members on the visit, commended the PHALGA boos for his achievements in office and for his commitment to the welfare of the people as well as traders and customers in spare parts market.

High chief Alaribeole who presented some of the challengers in the market, to the executive chairman, added that the purpose of the visit was to introduce the new leadership to the chairman and appealed to the city mayor to assist the spare parts market in tackling issues of insecurity and other disturbing trends in the area.

Other members of the executive who accompanied the chairman to the meeting included the Vice Chairman, Sir, Godwin Chibuka, the Secretary General, Nnamdi Amadikwa and the PRO of the body, Maduka Godson.

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Ikoku Herald

Why Nigeria Needs To Upgrade Its Security, Facilities

Hon. Emmanuel Ifeanyi, a security consultant based in Port Harcourt with offices in Ikoku motor spare parts market and other branches outside the state, speaks with The Vortex Business reporter, Steve Okeke, on insecurity in Nigeria and the need to deploy modern technology in tackling the challenges of insecurity.

What aspects of security are you into?

I am into all types of electronic security consultancy for cars, offices, home and human security. Technology has indeed advanced to the extent that there are now gadgets you wear on your body, put in your caps, glasses, phones, wrist watches and biros.

With killings, kidnappings and all manner of violence; how can technology help in curbing these security challenges?

Security solution is not the problem. The problem is that our country is not very serious about issues of security. Even we in the security business are not serious about issues of public and personal security. Nigerians lay emphasize on the pursuit of money without thinking much about securing themselves. People spend more money in acquiring properties rather than in securing themselves.

When you spend money to secure yourself, then you’re sure of what life is worth. Two years ago, I installed a security gadget for a car owner, but do you imagine that the client suddenly forgot to activate the security system in the vehicle until the car was stolen from him. It was then he raised alarm and contacted me, only to know that he had not made use of the services of the gadget in the car. It was only by the Grace of god that we were able to reactivate the security system and the vehicle was eventually recovered. So we want everybody to be conscious of personal and public security.

Sometimes people are killed and the perpetrators of the crime are not known. How can this be sorted out?

Nigeria and the citizenry need to upgrade our personal and national security consciousness and technology. Unfortunately insecurity all over the world is on the upward swing and technology is on the fast lane advancing to catch up with the challenges.

They are now minute security gadgets that have been developed which you can secretly install in your car, fix on a tree, roof of homes and in the public environment. There are wireless security that use small solar panels and will be giving you the needed information and daily incident reports.

Technology have advanced to the 4G upgrade, devices that you can fix even on a bulb in you homes and offices or any part of the building without having to run wires or cables anywhere in the building. You can even connect some devices to your phone and you can freely monitor your environment, offices, homes, cars, and other close areas connected to the device. In this era of kidnapping and vehicle snatching, there are devices that you can install in your vehicle and identify every persons or passengers, kidnappers or armed robbers and capture the faces of those responsible for the crimes. So I advice that we go back to the new world order where things work.

Recently some women were killed in Hotels in Port Harcourt and other States. How do you think CCTV; devices can be deployed to checkmate such killings.

Under normal circumstances, no hotel is expected to operate without installed Close Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV) because security should be the most important strategic business plan for such recreational places in order to obtain information and protect the customers. There was a hotel I visited, and fight and violent attacks on people erupted; for such hotel without any electronic system device, how do you identify those who did what in the hotel?

In modern worlds, you cannot build a hotel to accommodate people without an installed security system in place. What may exist is that the security devices (CCTV) are not installed to capture events in the rooms but at least the entrance to the rooms; the bar, packing lots and the immediate environments are captured, so that you can monitor the premises. Electronic security devices are varied, some are cheaper and others costly depending on the need. The cheaper ones in the range of N30,000, N20,000, some cameras are as cheap as N5,000, N15,000 respectively. The 4G devices is the latest technology device which you can key into your phone and you can monitor distances without physically being at the scene.

If you open my phone now, you can monitor what goes on in one of my shops located at Ada George area. This device does not require running wires here and there as this gives criminals the alert of existing security device in the place.

So how do you think government can intervene to build the needed security consciousness of Nigerians?

Governments are all of us and security is everybody’s responsibility. Government can assist in various ways by enforcing laws and order. Just like what is happening now, the police have the right to order all hotels to install CCTVs. It is not optional but compelling and any hotel that does not have it, should be shut down automatically and the owners should be classified as supporting the perpetration of the criminal acts in the hotels.

Are you not worried that in the last 59years, the nation have failed to key into modern technology security system in fighting the scourge of criminality in the country?

In Nigeria now, our political leaders do not care about the welfare of the people. Even if everyone in the country is killed, so far as it does not affect them, they may not care. Most of them have their children abroad and in their houses, they are surrounded by a number of state and private security operatives with CCTV installed in their houses and offices and they ride bullet-proof cars. So how would they care? If they really serve the people, they will know that everybody needs to be protected irrespective of status. When leaders only mind their own interests and do not consider others, then there is problem.

Our leaders know what to do to upgrade the system but if they do it, it will stop the benefits they are getting in fueling crises in the society.

How do we can create greater security awareness and consciousness among the populace?

 Already the killings and other security challenges the states are providing the need for personal and organizational awareness. So the social crises all over the country have created the needed consciousness to seek new grounds including the use of technological security device to tackle the problems. The public have already appreciated the essence of what people need to protect themselves.

Do we have the requisite expertise to install and manage high security devices?

What expertise do we need to do this? Yes, we have the technical skills. Moreover it does not take anything to put up the modern devices. The modern device does not require much work. In large environments, at most two days are enough to complete installations. I will advice Nigerians to embrace security and invest in technology so that the insecurity in the land can be brought to an end.

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Ikoku Herald

Ikoku Line Chairmen Elect Exco

The Forum of all line chairmen at the Ikoku auto spare parts market in Port Harcourt, over week elected executive officers to coordinate and pilot the activities of all the line chairmen in the market.

At the meeting held and attended by all the line chairmen at the Grand Hotels in Port Harcourt, High Chief Iwu Anthony Alaribeole emerged the Chairman of all Chairmen in the market while Sir Chibuka Godiwin, became the Vice Chairman, Mr. Nnamdi Amadikwa was elected the Secretary General and Cyprain Ojiako, the Assistant Secretary, Mr. Obumneme Ele, as the Financial Secretary and Amaechi Egbunam was elected the Treasurer emerged, while Maduka Godson, Chibuzo Onyejiuwa and Comrade Ezechukwu Dike emerged the Public Relations Officers (PRO I, II, III) respectively and Chimezie Erendy and Uzoma Offor were also elected the Provost I and II.

In a chat with The Vortex in his office, the newly elected Chairman of all Chairmen, High Chief Anthony Alaribeole said the election was result of the unanimous decision of all the line chairmen in the market to come together and install an executive committee with the mandate to coordinate the affairs of all the line in the market. High Chief Alaribeole however explained that the emergence of the body was not a replacement for the central leadership of the motor spare parts union in the market, adding that issues relating to the election of new executives for the central leadership of the market will be sorted out at the appropriate time.

He appealed to all line chairmen in the market to key into the new vision and cooperate with the elected executives to ensure that the market returns back to its glorious era. High chief Alaribeole also stated that the priority of the body will be to ensure adequate security and the well being of traders in the market and assured customers of the market of safer business environment. Secretary of the body, Nnamdi Amadikwa, on his part, solicited for cooperation from all the line chairmen in order to move the spare parts market forward, assuring that the market will be made safer and more secured under the new dispensation.

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Ikoku Herald

Traders List Challenges Of Spare Parts Business

Traders at the popular Ikoku spare parts market in Port Harcourt. Rivers state have expressed divergent opinions on the prospects and travails of the motor spare parts business in the past 59 years of Nigeria’s independence.

The Vortex newspaper was on the spot and interacted with a cross section of the motor spare parts dealers; at the market;

Motor Spare Parts Business Has Not Fared Badly -Uzoegbunam 

The motor spare parts business is good, although it depends on the individual. For me, in the past 16 years, I have been in the business, it has not fared badly. There are people who have succeeded and become millionaires. When we started the business at Ikoku here, there were people who were engaged in the importation of spare parts from Japan, Korea, china and others but today, it is no longer easy to do so. We use to have local companies engaged in the manufacture of motor spare parts like innocent industries and others but there no longer exist.

Government policies have not encouraged local manufacturers. We had companies like Michelin, Dunlop industries in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Odutola industries in Onitsha that manufactured tyres and batteries in Nigeria, but they have all closed down due to high cost of production. Today the borders are closed and this has affected business as goods can no longer be moved across borders. If in our 59 years of nation hood, we have no capable hands to manage the borders, so that those goods we cannot produce can come in, then our independence is questionable.

Ours Is A Story Of Economic Failure – Nwabueze Onu

I deal on fairly used motor spare parts for over 20years. The 59years does not appeal to me in anyway. There is hardship in the land and people are suffering and business is not moving well. The government of Nigeria has in the last 59 years failed to promote small businesses. The present government has worsened the situation as cost of doing business in the country has increased and traders of motor spare parts and other businesses has been the most hit.

We can no longer import as before because the cost of importation from china, Dubai and others because of high cost of foreign exchange, even the costs of clearing goods and transportation have gone up. In 59 years, you can see that no local motor spare parts manufacturing company still exist in the country.

The government should find away to cushion the effect of the harsh economic environment on businesses and the people. Look at it, the authorities have closed the borders, and the two tukumbo parts, we use to bring in no longer come, even food is getting scarce. How do you still talk of celebrating independence?

It Is Leadership Failure – Sir Chidozie Chibuka

I service and install solar power systems, batteries and panels for over 16years now. Honestly, I would not have wanted to talk anything about 59 years of Nigeria independence because there is nothing to talk about. The fact is that our leaders have failed the people in the past 59 years. We have no constant public power supply and the general wellbeing of the people have continued to slide.

For me, we are looking for a country; we can call our own, where government will talk about building an egalitarian society, where equity, fair play and justice can reign. You can see that not many today know when Nigeria celebrates her independence. People are more concerned on how to survive the hardship in the country. It is a nation of survival of the fittest with crises and violence increasing by day.

Where there is good governance, people are supposed to be happy. Those we gave power, have rather than serve us, are now re-colonizering the people. This government has not been sincere with fixing the public power supply. Today, there will tell us, we are generating 3000 megawatts of electricity but how does business survive under the epileptic power supplies. There are things solar power usage cannot carry, so people should use solar power for homes and offices.

Government should do the needful, allow experts to manage the power sector, put round pegs in round holes. They should support and encourage greater investment in the solar power for the people. It is 59 years of misappropriation of leadership, where corruption is thriving.

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Ikoku Herald

‘Nigeria Has Expertise To Handle All Vehicle Repairs’

Traders and artisans at the popular Ikoku motor spare parts market have urged government in the country to patronize local technician and artisans as they contended that Nigeria has enough manpower and expertise to handle all manners of vehicle repairs and maintenance.

Chairman of Success Line, Amaigbo Road at Ikoku auto spare parts market, Mr. Onyeka Ogugua made the assertions in a chat with The Vortex in his office in the market. Onyeka expressed dismay at the neglect of the local skill capacity in preference for foreign experts.

The chairman stated that Nigeria has the requisite expertise to do and handle all kinds of vehicle problems much better  than the Whiteman, stressing that the nation should desist from patronizing foreigners who he acknowledged impacted the skills to Nigerians.

“We can do all manners of repairs and services of motor starters, Alternators and other technical services if we are properly empowered and encouraged”, Mr. Onyeka stated.

He solicited for proper government supports, especially as he noted, “now that technology has gone on digital high scale”. Onyeka equally advocated for government assistance in the training of local technician in the use of computer in detecting and carrying out the repairs and maintenance of vehicle, stressing that this can be done through seminars and workshops which will help in educating and sensitizing the local labor.

The success line chairman, who is an expert in the repairs and maintenance of vehicle alternators and starters appealed to governments at all levels to assist the local auto technicians in subsidizing the cost of procuring computers and other modern technical tools, which he added has became necessary in view of the economic downturn in the country. He said, “” I deal on Autor engineering services in the last few years, and the business has been made worse by lack of funding capacity for the local workforce and entrepreneurs”.

Onyeka equally blamed the slide in the spare parts market to the recent activities of the state task force on illegal parking and street trading, which he stated has forced many customers away from the continued patronage of the market as they now find it difficult to get spaces to park their vehicles. He also cautioned the taskforce team operating in the area to soften on the way they treat, manhandle and embarrass customers and traders in the market.

On his achievements as chairman of the line Onyeka expressed commendation to the over 50 members of the line for their cooperation since he took office over a year ago, emphasizing that he has been able to carry everybody alone in the affairs of the line. He however lamented the problem of flooding in the area, and disclosed the plans of the line to undertake the flooring of the available spaces in order to provide water channels during rains in the area.

The chairman, who said he has mentored over six people on the skill, appealed to youths not to despair in the present situation in the country but should muster courage to learn skills even after graduating from schools as according to him, education backed with skills will guarantees a formidable future for the younger generations.

Also speaking an executive member of the line and Task force chairman of the line, Onyekwere Nwankwo described members of the line as highly discipline businessmen adding however that the body always disciplines its defaulting members who work against the rules of the line.

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Ikoku Herald

Taskforce Restores Sanity On Olu-Obasanjo Amaigbo Roads

Traders and commuters using the Olu-Obasanjo and Amaigbo  street roads along the Ikoku spare parts market now enjoy unfettered access to the area following the new packing order instituted by the Rivers State Taskforce on illegal Parking and Street loading stationed in the area.

The vortex reporter who visited the area noted that the area now experience easy flow of vehicles; as motorist and car owners using the roads no longer park indiscriminately along the road.

An official of the task force, who gave his name as Anyalewchi said the parking system designed for the area, has made it impossible for vehicles owners to dump their vehicles for longer hours along the road. He said a minimum of 25meters have be created away from the Ikoku roundabout stressing that commercial vehicles are no longer allowed to load passengers and goods along the road.

Traders in the market, who spoke on the new development, commended the task force for decongesting and freeing the area of traffic lock jam that has posed problems to users of the road.   

Mr. Samson Chindu, a dealer in motor spare parts in the market praised the state government for the sanity restored on the Ikoku access roads and in the entire state. Chindu added that the situation has encouraged people who usually fears using the area, to now easily access the market to do business.

Simeon Chukwka, a customer to the market expressed delight at the new order in the spare parts market and appealed to road users and the traders to respect the initiatives instituted by the government taskforce.

The Vortex recalls that the Amaigbo Oluobasanjo road along the Ikoku spare parts market had over the years posed difficulty to commuters and businesses in the area, as a result of the long hours it usually take to pass through the area.

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