[dropcap]A[/dropcap]lthough Otunba Femi Pedro, Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, has a deep passion for automobiles made in Nigeria, he is a lover of aesthetic and luxury cars.
He once had a dream car, a luxury brand, which he could not acquire until he was Managing Director of First Atlantic bank (defunct).
At the recent unveiling of Peugeot 3008 held in Lagos, Nigeria, Pedro was not only present; he was the chairman of the occasion. There, in an exclusive interview, the former number two citizen of Lagos state revealed to Motoring World how he once acquired a locally made brand new car for less than N3,000.
There are lots more: For instance, assuming he was to travel to outer space with just once car, what brand would it be? Find his answer and lots more in this interview. Happy reading…
Many local content manufacturers, Dunlop for instance, have closed down or left the country. What advice do you have for the government towards getting them back in operation again?
Otunba Femi Pedro: We just have to revive. We have to go back to the drawing board again. We have to create incentives for the companies to come back. Many of the companies left the country, because of electricity problem, road network problem, I mean infrastructure problem and foreign exchange scarcity. But things are getting better now. The ministry of Commerce and Industry should redouble its effort to get back the likes of Dunlop and Michelin. I was a banker for many years. They were my customers. They were based in Port Harcourt and Lagos. They had plant in Agbara and everywhere. And they employed a lot of Nigerians. We need them back in Nigeria. We need to redevelop our industrial capacity base so that a lot of Nigerians roaming the street now could go back and get jobs.
Please tell us about your first ever automobile, when and how you acquired it?
Otunba Femi Pedro:My first can I bought in 1982. As a young graduate at the Central Bank of Nigeria, I got a car loan for N2,800. I went to the account department. I collected the cash. I took a bus and a taxi to Volkswagen of Nigeria along Badagry Expressway, and I bought a brand new Volkswagen Passat, 1982 model. I used that car for 4 years.
In 1986, I decided to change the car, and I bought a brand new Peugeot 504 for N6, 500. That was in this same Nigeria, in our lifetime. It was 1986.
Those days, did you have a dream car. If yes, what was it?
Otunba Femi Pedro:Oh yes, I had a dream car. I’ve always loved Mercedes-Benz. And when, for the first time, I was able to buy a Mercedes-Benz, when I was managing Director of a bank, I was very excited.
What year did you succeed in acquiring your dream car?
Otunba Femi Pedro:That was 1998.
Today, if you were to travel to outer space and go with only one car, what car would that be?
Otunba Femi Pedro:You really want to know? A Maserati or Lamborghini.