Automobile community celebrates Ade-Ojo
Just last month, one of the biggest names in Nigeria’s motoring industry and the founder of Elizade Nigeria Limited, Michael Ade-Ojo, marked his 85th birthday recently, triggering an outpouring of felicitations from industry stakeholders, who all came together to celebrate the doyen of motoring and business leader.
Starting with CFAO in 1965 after finishing from the university, he then moved to the Federal Inland Revenue Department and thereafter, British Petroleum Nigeria Limited between 1967 and 1971 where he distinguished himself as the company’s best sales representative. In fulfillment of his resolve to establish his own business within 10 years of graduation, he ventured into private enterprise, co-founding Elizade Independent Agencies with his late wife, Chief (Mrs.) Elizabeth Wuraola Ojo in August 1971.
This was later incorporated into Elizade Nigeria Limited in 1973, a company dealing in motor vehicle sales, spare parts and service. This business has remained an unsurpassed success in Nigeria’s automobile industry to date.
Today, the company which started with just one support staff in 1971, has become a conglomerate with several subsidiaries including, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Elizade JAC Autoland (distributors of JAC Cars and light trucks), Odua Creations Ltd, Mikeade Property Development Company Ltd, Mikeade Investment Company Limited, SMT Nigeria Limited (distributors of Volvo Construction Equipment, Volvo Trucks, and Mack trucks in Nigeria). It would be difficult to discuss the automotive, insurance and education sectors in Nigeria without mentioning his contributions.
He has also acted as chairman or director in several companies including Custodian and Allied Plc, Ecobank Plc, FCMB Group, Meristem Securities Limited, African Petroleum (AP), Sofitel the Morehouse and a host of others. Transforming his local community from a village to an economically vibrant town through various community development and legacy projects, he has also empowered many indigenes with job creation and entrepreneurship support.
Also the brains behind Odua Creations Limited, a garment-manufacturing outfit; in February 2012, he launched Elizade University, a student-centered University, with emphasis on best practices in the delivery of teaching and community services.
His love for the automotive industry and the economic development of Nigeria led him to build a vehicle assembly plant in November 2015 for the assembly of Toyota and JAC vehicles. He has invested over $50m in the plant, which is capable of assembling 40,000 units of cars, light trucks and minibusses yearly.
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