Engineer Egberongbe Morufu Alamu, State Chairman, Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), in this interview speaks on how Auto Mechanics are not being considered in the urbanisation programme of the Lagos State Government, stressing the constant dislocation of members from their workshops.
Kindly introduce yourself, your business and present position in NATA
My name is Egberongbe Morufu Alamu, I am the State Chairman of NATA, I am a trained technician and that is what I do for a living.
When was NATA established and why was it established and do you have another faction like yours in the state?
NATA was established 60 years ago, and the reason why it was established was to bring her members together as one and also to fight for our rights and as far I know we do not have other faction in existence, if there is, it is a fake association.
How is it structured and how do you get your executives in place?
We have the National Executives, Zonal Executives, State Executives, Local Government and Unit Executives. All our Executives are selected through Elections.
Today, a number of vehicle owners, especially truck operators lament about the influx of fake spare parts into the country, how true is this assertion and what is your association doing to address it?
Influx of fake spare parts into Nigeria automotive market pose a big treat to the economy, the implication of such substandard safety parts in vehicles is often very severe, leading, in some cases to road crashes that could cause loss of lives and in most cases, resulting in financial losses, not just to vehicle owners, but also to other road users.
Campaign is ongoing within the association and relevant stake holders in the industry to address it
Many vehicle owners have also accused your members of using mostly fake spare parts to maximize financial gains from mechanical repairs. How would you react to this?
The complaint against our members using fake parts to maximise financial gain, as earlier mentioned, is being addressed through the campaign against substandard parts and we want all relevant government agencies to act on same SON and FCC.
What can be done to reduce the excess rate of accidents resulting from break failures, especially with trucks and what can you say is responsible for this?
The excess rate of accident resulting from brake failures are caused by a lot of factors, especially those of trucks, but it is preventable and completely avoidable.
The major causes of brake failure, especially with trucks or any other type of vehicle is negligence; lack of maintenance or poor maintenance; ignorance; substandard parts; over confidence; and over speeding. Ministry of Transportation agency vehicle Inspection Officers need to step up their operation on road Worthiness Certificate
Do you think that Nigeria can originally couple a motor engine that would power a vehicle? Give reasons for your position.
Yes, we can if we have all the necessary equipment to forge metal and all the machine tools needed to shape it. We have more than enough competent hands in Nigeria.
What advise do you have for the government regarding the Automotive Industry, especially in respect to the importation of used cars/tokunbos and trucks?
Advice for government concerning importation of used cars and trucks. You know all cars/trucks have a lifespan so government should stop allowing old cars/trucks into the country and old cars/trucks give more Co2 into atmosphere causing health risk and potential dangers
Can any ordinary member of your association acquire specialised equipment and technology required to enhance optimum performance in his work, how many of can afford it, what could be done to make your work more technologically efficient?
We have a lot of members with standard workshops across the state, but they are few in number compared to our population.
A lot of our members cannot afford the modern tools due to price and availability locally, although we have some oil companies assisting our members in training and computerised tools but we still need soft loans from financial institutions
What are the challenges facing your association, how are you solving it or what can the government do to solve it for you?
A major problem facing our association are government policies, most of our Mechanic Villages have been taken from us and converted to their personal use. Government is planning for urbanization without taking us along in their plans.
They have forgotten that without us no movement. The action of the government is frustrating our members out of job and sooner we will have brain drain, how are we going to drive the economy, who are those that will repair broken down cars?
Government need to create more Mechanic Villages and sell it to us.
Can we meet you?
Hello Princewill, thanks for having me. My name is Oluwaseun George. I am an Automotive Technician. I do general vehicle inspection, diagnostics, and mechanical and electrical repairs on cars.
What or who inspired you to choose this Career Path?
I’m handy by nature. I like to fix things. While growing up, I was always available to assist any painter, bricklayer, electrician etc, that came to work at our house. I believe that is why I chose to study Engineering in the first place.
My interest in cars started when I was a teenager. Being very close to my father, he introduced me to car problems and repairs as I often joined him to his mechanic workshop to fix his cars. We would discuss car issues, causes and possible solutions. I believe that was where my interest in car repairs was birthed.
How did you go from Insurance Sales to an Automotive Technician?
I got into insurance in 2017 as a Client Service Executive. I did a lot of sales-marketing insurance policies. I intended to develop skills in marketing, utilise the available resources, and network. It was all about making the most of the present situation. Along the line, I realised I was not satisfied with doing a full-time sales-marketing job. I needed to go back to my field, so I resigned and approached an automobile workshop for an opportunity to work as a trainee. They accepted me, and that is how it started.
What are the challenges you faced going to this industry?
Initially, I was mocked by some female friends, but I ignored their mockery. Another was that, after my youth service in 2011, I could not get a job in some Automobile Companies I approached because I didn’t have hands-on experience even after performing well in their test.
It took me over 6 years, I was more than ready to get the experience, and no level of mockery or No’s would not stop me. I have experienced resistance from male colleagues as well. They felt I was not capable, but thank God all that changed when they realised that I could do it and that I was seriously interested and capable of delivering on the jobs assigned to me.
What does the IWD theme “Break the Bias” mean to you?
Women are faced with challenges, especially when they are in a field formally believed to be for men only. I think this year’s theme, “break the bias”, seeks to raise further awareness against stereotypes and discrimination against women in STEM and celebrate women who have chosen to challenge gender inequality and are role models to girls and young women.
Creating financial literacy and inclusion for women will help drive higher insurance demand. For example, developing niche products for small-medium enterprises (SMEs) will give women access to available financial services, thereby optimising their growth potentials and ability to create and sustain wealth.
How do you think employers and employees can contribute to “Break the Bias?
Employers and employees can break the bias by creating an enabling environment where women are encouraged to take up leadership roles and are allowed to reach their full potential. When more women know that they are permitted into top positions, they will give their best.
I will advise young girls or women to believe in themselves more. Know that you are capable of achieving your dreams. Seek knowledge and embrace it with confidence. Please, look for a mentor that will guide you on whatever career path you choose. It helps.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is DAMILOLA ADEWARA; I am 33 years old and an Automotive Technician by profession.
My journey in life is the true definition of fate. While growing up, I wanted to become an Engineer as a Science driven student, but life has its course. I ended up studying Biological Science.
What or who inspired you to choose this Career Path?
Unfortunately, I didn’t get employed in the research institute I admired throughout my school years. Hence, I decided to learn a challenging and engaging skill that led my path to Automotive Industry.
What challenges have you encountered building your career?
Hmmm, I will start by saying that the “priceless value of gold does not stop it from going through the refining process.” I had to train for four years; those four years were challenging; people looked down on me, especially clients who didn’t know I was a graduate, some friends thought I had a spiritual problem. They wondered why I had to keep my degree to rub my body on the floor of a garage.
I thank God for the world revolution that has given women the opportunity to break barriers. Breaking bias has brought equitable opportunities for women even in male-dominated fields like mine. With hard work and consistency, now I have clients who prefer me to work on their cars, and I believe that’s an open door for females who might want to venture into Automotive Industry.
What is your most memorable experience as an Automotive Technician?
My most memorable experience was when my team successfully changed the Chassis of a Toyota Tacoma. It was intriguing because all the truck components were visible and are a sporadic experience for repairers, unlike those who work in assembling plants.
How can professional organisations help ‘Break the Bias’?
I would say employers need to give equal opportunities to both genders, not limiting women’s abilities by restricting them to specific positions across whatever hierarchy exists. Insurance companies and employers across several sectors in Nigeria can encourage women by investing in their future.
What message do you have for your young-self?
I would advise my younger self to invest more in their time. No knowledge is a waste; get an acceptable world skill. Education is essential. Acquiring more ability would help you stand out.
My favourite quote is: “A well-spent time today is a better tomorrow.”
And I love -love a Hybrid Toyota Highlander. I am fascinated by Hybrid Technology.
In any election there must be a winner or a looser. The problem always lies on how the winner wins and the looser loses. I want to assure all delegates and contestants that we are going to conduct a free, fair and acceptable election.
As you are all aware we conducted screening exercise yesterday and out of the 87 contestants screened no contestant was screened out in other words all the contestants qualified to stand for this election.
Distinguished delegates with three (3) delegates from each states except for Enugu State which has 4 delegates as agreed by the National Secretariats for the purpose of peace a total number of One Hundred and Twelve (112) Delegates drawn from the Thirty-Six States and Abuja, FCT and Eighty Seven (87) Contestants will be taking part in this election.
It has not been easy on the part of the Committee in ensuring that this election holds successfully.
To God be the glory today; the Committee is more than ready to conduct this election to the satisfaction of all Delegates and Contestants.
I want to use this medium to appeal to all Delegates and Contestants to observe the rules of the game which the Electoral Committee shall roll out as the procedures of this election.
Transparency is very important in life. At this juncture I want to commend the National General Secretary Comrade Musa Yahaya (Dan Masanin NATA, Soro Soro NATA) for the high level of transparency he displayed before and during this exercise. Every Committee member is very happy with him. Thank you Sir now I know why you are called Dan Masani NATA.
Finally, I want to thank the National President for the financial approval given to the Committee to successfully carry out its assignment. We are grateful Mr. President. May your days be long!
To our Committee Members, I salute your hard work, experience and dedication.
“Being text of Welcome Address by NATA National Electoral Committee Chairman, Comrade Balogun Adeleke (State Chairman, NATA Ogun State Chapter) to NATA’s 7th National Delegates Conference held on Tuesday 18th January, 2022 in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria; during which new NATA National Executive Council was elected”]]>
NATA’s eloquent National President, Comrade (Dr.) Magaji Muhammad Sani while presenting his welcome address to the Delegates to its association’s Tuesday 18th January, 2022 Conference noted that: “Today; our great Association (NATA), shall honour our partners who have demonstrated openly how dearly they cherish us.”
He declared that: “The Executive Governor of Borno State, His Excellency Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum shall receive ‘Award for Selfless Service to Humanity’ and will be decorated as NATA National Grand Patron.”
“The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of National Automotive Design & Development Council (NADDC), Engr. Aliyu Jelani shall receive on behalf of his Council an Award as ‘The Most Supportive Agency’ in terms of capacity building to NATA in Nigeria,” he revealed.
The NATA helmsman further said that: “While Ammasco International Limited and 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria) shall receive 1st & 2nd ‘Most Supportive Lubricant Company to NATA’ in Nigeria.”
Comrade (Dr.) Magaji Muhammad Sani while concluding his speech congratulated “all the Awardees for this recognition by the only formidable Automobile Association in Nigeria,” saying “citation of each Awardees” as for the reasons the Awards were conferred on them shall be read to delegates and observers by the National General Secretary of NATA, Comrade Musa Othman Yahaya before presentation of the Awards.
The ‘Award for Selfless Service to Humanity’ conferred on the Executive Governor of Borno State, His Excellency Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum was later received on his behalf by one of his Commissioners, while Ammasco International Limited’s ‘Most Supportive Lubricant Company to NATA’ was received by Engr. Matazu, Ammasco International Limited’s Marketing Manager.
As 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria) and National Automotive Design & Development Council (NADDC) were not represented at the event, the National Secretariat of NATA promised to make the Awards of both Organisations to their Managing Director and Director General, respectively at a later date.
He made this known while addressing NATA National Delegates as well as observers, who throng the Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola National Stadium in Abuja for the NATA National Election on Tuesday 18th January, 2022.
He said: “Since elected in (Benin) Edo State (Nigeria) in the year 2018 on the 18th January to be precise, I have brought lots of progress to our great Association.”
While revealing that he was willing to offer himself for further national service, Comrade (Dr.) Magaji Muhammad Sani said; “As I will be going for second term; I promise to run an all inclusive administration (if elected) as being the case hitherto.”
He solemnly promised to “uphold the Constitution of Nigeria and that of our great Association, NATA to the letter.”
The National President of the Association, Comrade (Dr.) Magaji Muhammad Sani expressed his association’s appreciation to the sponsors; he named as Ammasco International Limited and 11 Plc during his opening address to Delegates just before the commencement of election held on Tuesday 18th January, 2022 in Abuja, FCT, Nigeria to bring him new members into the NATA National Executive Council.
The NATA national helmsman started by expressing profound gratitude to Almighty God for sparing his members lives to be able to attend the 7th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Association.
He specially thanked the Management of Ammasco International Limited and 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria) for sponsoring his association’s 7th Quadrennial National Conference apart from other appreciable gestures extended to the association in the past.
The most distinguished President further said: “Permit me to express on behalf of NATA our appreciation to (the Management of) Ammasco International Limited and 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria) who have been supporting us financially, morally, technically and otherwise.”
He also acknowledged the technical support of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) through capacity building “in order for our members to be at par with industry best practice.”
He revealed that: “Today; tens of thousands of our members are being trained (by NADDC) on new vehicular engines otherwise known as mechatronics.”
He therefore thanked the Council’s Director General, Engr. Aliyu Jelani and appealed to him to redouble his efforts at the Council “in giving our members training this year as never before.”
He said: “We are most sincerely grateful.”
On behalf of NATA members across the country, Comrade (Dr.) Magaji Muhammad Sani, who was billed to re-contest the post of National President of the association commended “the tireless efforts of the National Electoral Committee drawn from each zone plus the National Secretariat for choosing a befitting arena to host NATA’s 7th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference.”
He said: “I commend you people most sincerely.”
Comrade Magaji Sani noted that: “Today marks yet another milestone in the life history of our great Association when delegates drawn from each state of the federation are going to vote candidates of their choice who shall pilot the affairs of our noble Association for the next coming four years.”
He urged delegates: “As you shall be casting your votes today (please) shine your eyes to elect leaders; not rulers who shall move NATA from its present position to the next level.”
This was revealed by the helmsman of the Association, Comrade (Dr.) Magaji Muhammad Sani at the second day of NATA’s 7th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference held in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital territory on Tuesday 18th January, 2022.
The amiable NATA National President revealed that his Association has more than 5 million strong members spread across the country; “with different religious, cultural and tribal dichotomy.”
The NATA President appreciated the presence of Delegates from across the country that came to elect new members into the NATA National Executive Council as well as distinguished invited guests who came as witnesses to the August occasion.
He said: “We really appreciate you sirs,” he concluded.]]>
Most times, what we need is good character to be where we wish to be in life.
Beyond that, talent is attractive as it brings fame and wealth hence we all wish to be talented.
However, anyone can be talented, but good character is proof of discipline as well as of responsibility.
AREMU, the new NATIONAL FINANCIAL SECRETARY combines both talent and an unblemished character.
As my dear boss, COMRADE YEKEEN ADEKUNLE AREMU emerged as the winner in the contest for the office of NATIONAL FINANCIAL SECRETARY of our noble association (NATA), I pray that he will continue with his good character that endears him to many people. I also pray that his brilliance and intelligence which manifested in him continue to soar.
He remains my beloved and loyal boss to whom I’m well pleased.
Honestly, words are insufficient to convey the magnitude of our gratitude to you esteemed members of our noble association throughout the federation. We are indebted to you. We are appreciative for the confidence reposed in my boss, Comrade Yekeen Adekunle Aremu to become the new NATIONAL FINANCIAL SECRETARY.
We beseech the Almighty Allah to continue to bless, guide and guard you all.
Congratulations to NATA National President, Comrade (Alhaji) Magaji Muhammad Sani on his return for second term as National President. Your return as well as those of your deputy and deputy national general secretary speaks volume of your good deeds and confidence which the members of the Association repose in your quality leadership.
As you commence another phase in uncommon transformation of the association, we (Cross Riverians) wish you and the other members of the new National Executive Council a successful, stress free, Godly mindset tenure.
NATA Cross River State Chapter Public Relations Officer]]>
Your return speaks volume of the support and confidence which the members of the Association have in you and your quality leadership.
As you commence another phase on the saddle l wish you and the other members of the new National Executive Council a successful, stress free, goal driven tenure.
The Lord shall go before you and preserve you and the NATA family.
Up NATA! Progress!!!
No NATA, No MOVEMENT.