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Fire destroys motorcycle parts factory in Anambra

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A midnight fire at a motorcycle spare parts factory in Nnewi, Anambra State, has led to the destruction of property worth over N500m.

The facility is said to be part of Louis Carter Industries Nigeria Limited.

The fire was said to have started around 10pm on Saturday and reportedly raged for six hours amid interventions by fire service men who arrived one and a half hours late.

General Manager of the company, Mr Ndubisi Okoli said he was alerted by the company’s security men who said the inferno could not be contained with the factory’s fire extinguishers due to the intensity of the fire.

He attributed the fire incident to a spark on a high tension cable of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company.

“The high tension cable sparked and spread fire to a section of the factory which destroyed raw materials and crushed machines worth over N500 million.

“Though no life was lost, the building was completely razed,” Okoli lamented.

Chief Executive Officer of Louis Carter Group of Companies, Chief Louis Onwugbenu said, “Only God knows how much it will cost me to rebuild the factory. Worse still is the number of workers that have been thrown out of job as a result.”

He appealed to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State for the reconstruction of the road leading to the company from the major highway, stressing that this would help a great deal.

 

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Park and pay returns to Abuja streets in May – FCTA

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration, Abuja says its controversial on-street park-and-pay policy wil be reintroduced next month (May).

This is coming almost seven years after it suspended the policy following a court order.

Acting Secretary, FCT Transportation Secretariat, Usman Yahaya, announced this on Tuesday in Abuja, saying the parking policy would bring about sanity in the city.

The policy was in 2014 rejected by some residents who complained about alleged high handedness of its enforcing personnel and  queried the ownership of companies being used for ticketing.

Some aggrieved persons approached an FCT High Court which stopped the FCTA from further collecting fees from residents for the street parking in the metropolis.

Yahya, however, explained that the on-street parking scheme, to be managed by four companies, would commence in May 2021.

Yahaya said, “On-street parking management was suspended in 2014 as a result of an FCT High Court ruling that declared the operation illegal because it was not specifically mentioned in the 2005 FCT Road Transport Regulations. “The scheme was riddled with so many complexities, the operators were accused of many ill acts, but we have resolved the issues, so in May this year the scheme will kick-off.

“In the past seven years, the Administration had embarked on various measures aimed at addressing the concerns raised by the Court and the public with regards to the scheme, the FCT Administration in collaboration with its legal team produced FCT Parking Regulations 2019 to amend the parking section of 2005 FCT Road Transport Regulations,” he said.

He stated that the four operators will cover the whole Federal Capital City which would be divided into districts for proper enforcement.

Yahaya admitted that prior to the judgment, the scheme was riddled with countless complaints as the operators were accused of dubious, unprofessional and unscrupulous acts.

“It was based on these shortcomings that the Suntrust Savings and Loans Ltd challenged the powers of the FCTA to impose levies on motorists that parked their cars on the FCT streets.

“Justice Peter Affen in his judgment, commended and described the ‘park and pay scheme’, which was introduced for the purpose of effective traffic management as laudable but ruled that the scheme was unknown to the FCT laws.

“He blamed the authorities for not backing the scheme with adequate laws.”

He however said the new licensed operators be civil, respectful and operate within the confines of the law.

Director, FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Services, Wadata Bodinga, also promised that parking lots would henceforth be provided, while the fine collectors would be well trained.

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Updated: Nigeria builds first solar-powered vehicle charging station in Sokoto

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The Nigeria Automotive Design and Development Council has inaugurated the first 100 per cent solar-powered vehicle charging station in Nigeria.

Director-General of the NADDC, Mr Jelani Aliyu, said at the unveiling in Sokoto on Thursday, “This is the beginning of a new era for Nigeria as it marks the realisation of government’s desire to build sustainable technology in the country.

“Moreover, our vision/mission at the NADDC is not just to enable the production of vehicles in Nigeria but also producing the best and most advanced technology vehicles in the country.”

He said the pilot project was inaugurated at the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto (UDUS) in collaboration with the institution due to the interest of the university and the peculiar weather of the area needed for the project.

Jelani said, “Today, we have inaugurated the first 100 per cent solar energy powered charging station in Nigeria.

“The reason for choosing Sokoto for the pilot project is in consideration of the harsh weather. However, such weather has become a blessing for us as we can extract and power our homes, offices and even for industrial consumption.”

Aliyu also said the NADDC was partnering three universities in the country, UDUS, the University of Lagos and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, to advance the research work in renewable energy.

“With the current development, Nigeria can power her economy exclusively with renewable energy and by the time that is achieved, the challenges of power will become history in the country,” he stated.

The DG said that it was an opportunity for the institutions to utilise the very best in research to enable them to come up with more advanced technologies in the automotive industry.

Vice Chancellor of UDUS, Prof. Lawal Bilbis, described the inauguration as a historic landmark for the institution, Sokoto State and Nigeria.

Bilbis, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Ibrahim Magawata, said the university would ensure more collaborative measures to enable he NADDC to achieve the desired dreams.

“We are hoping that these collaborations will usher in favourable results to enable Nigerians, even in remote villages, to rely on the gift of nature for energy.”

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Hyundai reveals new Santa Cruz pickup ahead of April 15 launch

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The long wait is nearly over: Hyundai’s 2022 Santa Cruz, a combination SUV and pickup truck, will make its debut April 15.

The new Santa Cruz has been rumoured since the early 2010s and has existed in concept form since 2015.

That is more than nine years of speculation and more than six years of a concept version existing before the production vehicle ever makes its debut.

The Acura NSX had a similarly lengthy process from rumor to concept to production; Hyundai is likely hoping the Santa Cruz has better luck when it comes to sales.

The latest images show the grille design is cribbed from the recently redesigned Tucson, with lighting integrated into the grille itself.

Indeed, the production version has taken so long to appear that the last concept seen from 2015 has a grille design that’s now outdated compared with Hyundai’s current design language.

Analysts at the cars.com says the new Santa Cruz looks in profile like it might be closer in size to the Santa Fe — and it seems to share a similar wheel design with the current Santa Fe, too. We can also see that the production version will have four full doors, unlike the concept. If the Santa Cruz is indeed very close to the Santa Fe’s length, it would be significantly shorter than many current traditional mid-size pickups.

Hyundai says, “The 2022 Santa Cruz will break new ground within the SUV, truck and crossover segments by offering a new category of vehicle unlike anything else in the US market.”

Without knowing more details, like just what Hyundai defines as a “flexible open bed,” we can’t be sure how different the Santa Cruz will be from the Honda Ridgeline pickup or past SUV-based offerings from Ford and GM. Depending on its size, the Santa Cruz may also face competition from the rumoured — and more traditional — Ford Maverick compact pickup truck.

-Cars.com

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