BY MIKE OCHONMA
Stallion Auto Keke Limited (SAKL), a member of Stallion Group and Nigeria’s sole distributor of Bajaj 3-wheelers & 4-wheelers, has rolled out 100,000 Bajaj Keke into the nation’s tricycle market. This piece of good news is coming less than two years of entering the market by the automotive conglomerate.
Making the announcement in Lagos, Manish Rohtagi, managing director, SAKL and VON Automobiles of Nigeria Limited, attributed the extraordinary feat to his company’s relentless effort towards delivering international quality Kekes and creating economic value for Nigerians.
According to the SAKL boss, the company embarked on overall cost-effective empowerment program for the Nigerian youths by making the Bajaj Keke the most affordable in the country (N975,000 per unit).
“To this end,” Rohtagi explained, “we embarked on empowerment of Nigerians, empowerment of females and empowerment of our staff, thereby creating a winning team, which facilitated the unprecedented production of 100,000 units of Bajaj Keke within a short span of 18 months.
“For effectiveness, we also introduced auto finance, an essential ingredient of the nation’s Auto Industry Development Plan (NAIDP), thereby working closely with Microfinance banks, towards empowering Nigerian youths.
“While we provide the unemployed youths with riding skills and techniques, our partner Microfinance Banks provide liquidity with a zero-gestation period to ensure their daily income as micro entrepreneurs. As a result of the foregoing efforts, driving Keke has, today, become the best Micro Entrepreneurship in the country.
“Basically, in return for empowerment and support we gave our stakeholders, including riders and dealers, we are getting supports from all corners of Nigeria, which explains why we achieved such high volumes. And not resting on our oars, we also rolled out new range of top quality products like the Face-Lifted Bajaj RE-4S, RE-250 with Higher capacity engine and innovative Technology and Bajaj Cargo.”
It would be recalled that, from inception, the company, in collaboration with Stallion Empowerment initiative (SEI), embarked on training and hiring of females to work either as assembly plant technicians or field mechanics.
“And as a result of our ambitious female empowerment programmes, which include training as mechanics and assemblers, Stallion Auto Keke Limited is today the only Automobile Assembly plant in Nigeria which has employed so many female staff on the assembly line,” Rohtagi added.
Despite its outstanding feat and contribution to the nation’s economic growth, Rohtagi reaffirmed the commitment of Stallion Auto Keke Limited towards alleviating youth unemployment by continuing to roll out more expansive youth and women-focused empowerment programmes.
In line with that vision, the company had, as of December 2021, already trained and integrated into its assembly plant in Lagos, not less than 40 women with a target of training and absorbing 500 female technicians by the end of 2022.