A renowned indigenous ship owner and shipyard operator, Engr. Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun has diversified into exotic automobile repairs and the training of young Nigerians to acquire modern skills in the repairs of vehicles in the country.
The business which has already kicked off in the Edo State capital, Benin City with the building of a state-of-the-art workshop that deploys information communication technology (ICT) enabled equipment and gadgets to diagnose and repair all kinds of vehicles.
He disclosed that no fewer than 450 vehicles have been handled by the company in the last one year just as Toyota Nigeria Limited has appointed it to be its representative in the sales of original spare parts and the maintenance of vehicles that are under its warranty.
His words: “One of our biggest accomplishments is that Toyota Nigeria Limited heard about the workshop and actually sent a team to come and see what we are doing and after the visit, a couple of months later they appointed us their representatives for their warranty jobs in that region. Also, they have given us accreditation to carry out services on their behalf; and importantly, be a dealer of their original spare parts. So, that is the level of confidence it has in our workshop!”
Apparently allaying fears in some quarters that profit maximization is the driving force for the new projects, Ogbeifun who disclosed this in a chat with select journalists in Lagos noted that his major motivation is ensuring the happiness of others.
According to him, the essence is to instill new thinking and the right attitude to work. You see that when they get that right, they are able to carry that consciousness into a maintenance culture for their vehicles and it serves all parties favourably.
Ogbeifun who is the Chairman, STARZS Group and immediate past President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) expressed hope that he would set up similar workshops in the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre, Lagos soon.
The marine engineer disclosed that the company also embarks on the training and re-training of drivers to be in a vantage position to effectively handle their vehicles. Already, no fewer than 150 drivers on the pay roll of the Edo State government have undergone training on driving ethics and how to effectively handle their vehicles.
Named Diverse Autocare Centre, the modern auto maintenance complex, will be unveiled on February 11, 2022 in Benin City, Edo State. The Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Dr. Jelani Aliyu is expected to formally unveil the workshop.
His words: “Arrangements are on hand for February 11, 2022. Diverse Autos Centre will be commissioned with the honour of Mr. Jelani Aliyu, the Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council who would be the person to commission it. We will also be honoured with the presence of Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo, the Managing Director of Toyota Nigeria Limited. He is going to be co-commissioning the event”.
Ogbeifun revealed that no fewer than 60 highly-skilled graduates are engaged by the company just as the Edo State Government remains its biggest client.
He also disclosed that 80 percent of its clients are government and they have not defaulted in the payments for the company services.