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‘We’re open to amicable resolution with Innoson’ — Uzodimma speaks on N2.5bn debt claims

‘We’re open to amicable resolution with Innoson’ — Uzodimma speaks on N2.5bn debt claims
August 06
18:20 2022

Hope Uzodimma, governor of Imo state, says his administration is open to “amicably resolving” its dispute with Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) over a N2.54 billion debt.

Uzodimma spoke in a video posted on his official Twitter page on Friday.

IVM had filed a lawsuit against the Imo government over the debt claims.

But the Imo government said the management of IVM breached the contractual agreement regarding the sale and maintenance of the vehicles – a claim the company has denied.

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In the video, Uzodimma explained that his administration decided to patronise Innoson to support local content.

He said the vehicles were purchased in the early days of his administration for the purpose of combating insecurity in the state and catering to other logistical needs.

The governor, however, maintained that there was an agreement that the company would set up a mobile technical workshop for servicing the supplied vehicles.

He added that the state government had remitted over N3 billion to the company and waited for it to comply with the agreement of setting up a servicing centre for the vehicles which it failed to do.

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“Unfortunately, as at today, over 70 percent of the supplied vehicles are broken down and the others are in various stages of disrepair due to the fundamental breach of the contract by IVM to set up a service unit,” Uzodimma said.

“Rather than fulfilling its obligations to the Imo state government and complying with the conditions of the said agreement, the management of IVM embarked on an unfortunate public outcry to whip up sentiments to mislead unsuspecting Nigerians and rip off the taxpayers of Imo state.”

Uzodimma said he would not “throw away” taxpayers money unless he gets value for it.

“I am saying, as promised, come and do the (servicing workshop) so that we can repair the vehicles and get value from them before we can pay more money,” the governor said.

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“I also came from the private sector. We don’t throw away money. We have to get value for money.”

“Despite the breach of contract by IVM, we await its avowed legal proceedings, even as we remain open, as always, to amicably resolving the issues in the best interest of both parties, especially the good people of Imo state.”

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