Not many automobile dealers have palatable stories to tell about the Nigerian Customs Service, with whom they have business affairs on a regular basis. But for the man at the helms of affairs at IVD Autos Limited, it is a different story.
In a chat with our reporter, Ogbonna reminisced about his encounter with the agency, describing it as one of the most challenging moments of his life as an automobile dealer of over 14 years experience
“I’ve had challenges with the Nigerian Customs Service. There was a day they came for their routine search and there was a car they found that wasn’t properly cleared and didn’t have genuine papers and so, it was taken away. I never knew that one of my agents didn’t complete the duties and used fake papers. So I was forced to pay additional charges on the vehicle in order to get it back. So far, that has been the only major challenge I’ve had,” he said.
He says rather than allowing his experiences with the Nigeria Customs Service have a negative effect on his business, he exploits it to improve how he runs his automobile business.
“I only learnt that I should not trust any agent to do my clearing for me. Whenever my cars arrive at the port and goes through the clearing process, I still confirm the process to be sure it has been done so that similar mistakes don’t repeat themselves. The Customs is doing its job as it is supposed to, because if not for the investigation its operatives did, I wouldn’t have known that the agent played on me after taking a huge amount of money from me for the clearing. I was impressed at the way they carried out their job,” he noted.
For someone who has made a respectable fortune from the automobile business, Ogbonna was quick to assert that the business is worth emptying one’s account to invest in.
“It is a very lucrative business. I’ve made a lot of money from it. I’ll advise anyone to invest in the automobile business, so long as they have passion for it. If you don’t have passion for it, don’t start it because if it flops or doesn’t turn out the way you want, you might end up with regrets,” he said.
Ikechukwu Darry Ogbonna, has established himself as an astute businessman of many trades, a few of which are in the automobile, property and entertainment businesses. With more than a decade of wealth of experience in the business of importing automobiles to Nigeria, Ogbonna has proved himself to be a young and passionate businessman determined to carve a niche for himself.
Unlike many who just dabble into a business without passion, foresight or commitment, just because they were advised to, or for the profit, Ogbonna says he ventured into the automobile business with passion, focus and set goals.
“I’ve been in this business for more than 14 years. It’s a good business and I have passion for it. I’ve always looked forward to being in the automobile industry and I really don’t have any regrets. Thank God I’ve gone far and things are going as planned.”