FBN wins big at Toyota Special Evergreen Awards


First Bank of Nigeria emerged the winner of Toyota Nigeria Limited’s Customer of the Year Award at the Special Evergreen award ceremony held in Lagos on Thursday, April 11, 2019.

The award, according to the Managing Director of the TNL, Mr Kunle Ade-Ojo, is “given to the best customer who emerged as the top customer for past five years cumulatively and the most loyal and consistent in the patronage of Toyota products in the past 10 years.”

Ministry of Defence, the Department of Petroleum Resources and MTN Nigeria were declared the second and third prize winners, respectively in the customers of the year award category.

An assistant editor with the Punch Nigeria Limited, Rasheed Bisiriyu, emerged as the motoring journalist of the year (2018) in the journalists award category. Theodore Opara of the Vanguard and Mike Ochonma of Businessday also emerged the first runner-up and second runner-up, respectively in the journalists’ category of the award.

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As the special evergreen customer of the year, First Bank which also won the same award last year, was rewarded with the latest model of new Toyota Yaris.

According to Punch, the Chairman, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, speaking at the event, said the Yaris gift given to the First Bank could not have at a better time than this year on the occasion of the bank’s celebration of its 150th anniversary.

He commended the Defence ministry, the DPR and the MTN as well as others customers for their patronage, which had kept the auto firm going against all odds.

He said despite the weakened purchasing power of average Nigerians, which made it difficult to buy new vehicles, the customers and its media partners been wonderful.

“The Nigerian economy has experienced a series of crises over the years. The last few years in particular have been extremely tough. The purchasing power of average Nigerians has been thoroughly weakened.

This, coupled with the unprecedented surge in prices of goods and services, have made acquisition and ownership of new vehicles extremely difficult for average Nigerians. This has inevitably resulted in a huge stop in sales of vehicles.”

Ade.Ojo further stated that their customers had supported the leading auto firm immensely, adding that they had continued to be their source of strength. The support, Ade-Ojo said, had made the TNL a force to reckon with in the automobile industry in the country.

For the journalist award category, the TNL’s Head of Dealers Development and Special Projects, Mr Henry Ojuoko, said out of entries sent in by many motoring journalists from different media houses, those from the three winners stood out.

He commended them their developmental journalism, which had helped the industry and the nation’s economy.

Toyota Nigeria Limited has therefore promised to continue to celebrate those customers and other stakeholders including journalists that have kept the auto firm in business despite the harsh economic situation in the country.

Yetunde Adegoke

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