The Chairman, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo, is set to bow out of active participation in the day-today-running of the auto company when he turns 80 on June 14 this year.
He hinted about his retirement in Lagos during the Toyota award and customers’ night, where he allayed the fear that his exit could create a vacuum, saying his son, Kunle, currently the managing director of the company, would be a good replacement.
Ade-Ojo stated, “By the grace of God, I’ll be 80 years old on the 14th of June. I know you will want to celebrate me; I’ll also want to celebrate you because you’ve been wonderful.
“I do not have any fear that our customers will suffer. You’re not going to suffer. Kunle is there for you when daddy retires. It’s not that I’m saying bye for now. But I’m warning you that things are changing. I might not be able to continue to do this (functioning as the company’s chairman) for long.”
At the event, First Bank of Nigeria Limited, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and Access Bank Plc were rewarded for their high purchase of Toyota vehicles last year from the TNL.
Ade-Ojo thanked all the customers for their continued patronage and stressed that the company was indebted to them for the success of the Toyota brand in the country.
The industrialist, who was recently named the icon of Nigeria’s auto industry, founded Elizade Independent Agencies (now Elizade Nigeria Limited) in 1971, with his wife, Elizabeth, a company that focused on the distribution of automobiles, especially Japanese cars, in the country.
Ade-Ojo, fondly called Mr. Toyota, singlehandedly made the Toyota brand a household name and a leading auto company in Nigeria after he had acquired 100 per cent equity in RT Briscoe Nigeria, and raised his total holdings in Toyota Nigeria Limited to about 74 per cent.
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