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Badagry commuters stranded as drivers protest Lagos govt levy increase  

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Commercial vehicle drivers in the Badagry area of Lagos State have protested against the newly introduced N800 levy imposed on buses and cars by the state government.

Angered by the increase in the levy from N500 to N800, the drivers decided to embark on an industrial action and vowed not go back to the road unless the Lagos State Government reversed the levy.

The strike by the commercial vehicle drivers has rendered many passengers stranded around Badagry roundabout, Mowo, Aradagun and Agbara areas of the state.

Chairman, Ebute-Ero-Seme (18-passenger bus), said, Jim Feyisayo, “Most of us have been pushed to the wall now because of series of extortion by touts and police at different checkpoints.

“Paying the N500 levy by the government is not easy for us. But to our surprise, the levy was increased to N800 on Thursday; this is too much for us.

“From the middle of last year, it was fuel increase; then from three checkpoints, the police increased to over 10 and we have to drop at least N100 at each checkpoint.

“Most of the drivers cannot boast of going home at the end of the day with N1,000 after the daily delivery to the vehicle owner.

“We are appealing to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to come to our aid by reducing the levy to its former N500. The levy should not be from one bus stop to another. Let it be in one bus stop only. Things are very hard now and everyone is finding it difficult to survive.”

Mr Ismaila  Adewuyi, a driver plying Igbo Elerin to Badagry, urged the government to reduce the levy for the sake of the masses.

“For the past few days now, passengers have been stranded on the road due to the protest by our members due to this new levy. The only available means of transportation, commercial motorcyclists known as Okada, have also doubled their fares and this is telling on the passengers.

“We are begging the government to rescind the decision. If not, the drivers will not go back to work in the Badagry area; we cannot be working for touts at every bus stop.”

Adewuyi also cautioned touts working for the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) to stop vandalising commercial vehicles under the guise of collecting levy.

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Limit your speed to 30km/h, FRSC tells all motorists

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FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week, the Federal Road Safety Corps has asked motorists to limit their speed to 30 kilometres per hour in urban or built-up areas for all categories of vehicles.
The global safety week will be celebrated between Monday May 17 and Sunday May 23, 2021.
The Bauchi Sector Commander, FRSC, Mr Yusuf Abdullahi, made the recommendation on Monday in a statement issued by the FRSC Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Rilwanu Suleimanu.
The corps said speeding was responsible for about 30 per cent of crashes in Nigeria.
Abdullahi explained that the corps would be using the 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week to carry out an advocacy programme where people would be educated on the issue.
He said, “The 6th UN Global Road Safety Week will focus on the issue of speed.
“The week advocates for safer streets motoring by making 30 km/h speed limits, the norm for cities worldwide in places where people mix with traffic.
“The week is concerned about policy commitments at national and local levels to deliver the 30 km/h speed limits in urban areas and to generate local support for such low speed measures in order to create safe, healthy traffic flow within Urban cities globally.
“As a lead agency in road safety management and administration in Nigeria, the FRSC is hosting the event and embarking on nationwide advocacy to replicate this global activity in selected Nigerian Cities.
“Pursuant to this, the Bauchi State command of the FRSC organises public education campaign programmes to inculcate the norm of 30km/hr speed limits among road users.”
He called on the general motoring public to always adhere to the maximum legal speed limit while in the city or in built up areas so as to prevent crashes, its attendant injuries as well as its fatalities.
Abdullahi, who further stressed the need to avoid speeding, considered among the critical traffic violations with high risk factor, said speeding would lead to increase in crash severity, resulting in more fatalities or injuries.
The sector commander explained that more damage would be caused to vehicles involved in speeding when they crashed, thereby increasing the likelihood of such vehicles not drivable thereafter.
“Speeding also leads to extra fuel consumption and frequent replacement of auto parts, among others,” he said.
The public advocacy programme would include media charts, roadshows, visits to hospitals, and advocacy visits to stakeholders, including policymakers and others.

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Hyundai working on new high-performance car

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Hyundai is planning a new version of the Ioniq 5 that will raise the performance of the electric model, according to a new report from the Korean automaker.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a Pony-styled electric hatchback that is already rear-drive as standard and offers 300 horsepower in top all-wheel drive guise.

That leaves plenty of performance for Hyundai N to unlock on the enthusiast side of the new E-GMP architecture underpinning the automaker’s new EVS, the report says.

Hyundai is also said to be working with hypercar maker Rimac to build a new top-of-range EV performance car, so it would not be much of a stretch to seek out some of that company’s assistance on the rest of its electric vehicles as well.

Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motors, Thomas Schemera, confirmed the development, saying, “Everybody knows that our electric global modular platform (E-GMP) has a lot of potential and shows a lot of flexibility. One thing is for sure, eco-friendly models are on our priority list – at the top.

“We never stop thinking about extending our product portfolio and strategically, we are moving full speed ahead with eco-friendly offerings.

“We are moving ahead with our battery electric concept and our fuel-cell electric concepts.” So does that mean an Ioniq? “I guess it seems to be realistic,” he said.

Popular auto reviewer, Top Gear, thinks the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the Tesla rival many will want to own.

It says, “The automotive industry has been waiting for a legitimate and affordable Tesla Model 3/Y alternative for quite some time and with the Ioniq 5, it appears Hyundai has delivered just that.”

The Ioniq 5 is an all-new electric mid-size crossover and the first model to be branded under the new ‘Ioniq’ electric sub-brand.

According to carscoops.com, the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 rides on the dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which blends the traditional skateboard design with an elongated wheelbase for attractively styled and practical EVs?

It also features both 400- and 800-volt charging, thanks to the new platform.

When plugged into a 350kW charger, the Ioniq 5 can recharge from 10 to 80 perbcent in just 18 minutes, with the carmaker claiming that five minutes of charging is enough to get 62 miles of range on the WLTP cycle.

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Scarcity of vital auto parts forces more automakers to shut down

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  • Ford suspends Mustang production May 3

Ford will be shutting down production of its Mustang on May 3-7 with a plan to resume assembling the pony car at a later date yet to be determined.

This is coming after many automobile manufacturers had announced the suspension of production of a number of models, especially the premium vehicles.

The reason for the production shutdowns is that there are not enough semiconductor chips to power all that flashy technology in new cars.

The outlook for the Mustang and other Ford models as well as other auto brands does not look exactly rosy.

Analysts say they have seen this problem for months now, with the GM having to cease production of different vehicles, notably the Chevy Camaro.

Fiat Chrysler (now part of Stellantis) has had to shut down the assembly lines for the Dodge Charger and Challenger as well as the Chrysler 300.

This problem has affected many other automakers such as Toyota, Nissan, Daimler and Porsche.

Industry analysts predict the chip shortages will limit the production of cars in the near term, but thankfully the problem will go away after a while.

In the meantime, this means you can expect to have a harder time finding and paying for certain new car models. It’s the simple economic rule of supply and demand.

Although with rough economic times, more people are holding onto older cars, so while supply is constrained, demand for some models is also lagging.

The shortages have caused automakers to drop some technological features from different models. For example, Stellantis announced it would be scrapping the digital speedometers on at least one Peugeot line.

Ford has been selling the F-150 without the fuel management module as a way to cut back on how many semiconductor chips it uses. Porsche is axing features like an 18-way-adjustable seat for the Macan SUV as a way to conserve its chip supply.

Another strategy to deal with the shortages has been for automakers to shut down production lines for vehicles with thinner profit margins. This means many cars, like the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, and Dodge Challenger, will see constrained supply.

Another example is Daimler shutting down its compact car plant in Germany where 18,500 workers are employed. Instead of pumping out more Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles, the company is looking to put what semiconductor chips it has into more expensive model lines so profits don’t take as big of a hit.

The creation of this problem is complex and there’s some contradicting information. Some say production shutdowns at semiconductor plants because of COVID-19 have fuelled the shortage. Others think it has been the overwhelming demand for computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, smart televisions, among others as people are spending most of their time trapped at home.

Another conjecture is that suppliers did not foresee automakers ramping up demand for chips so quickly after plant shutdowns and assembly line reductions last year. So they’re scrambling to ramp up production and that takes time.

This comes after demand for at least some new cars has almost exploded, something few saw coming so early, after all not many people were looking to buy vehicles because of the pandemic last year.

Whatever the cause, this shortage isn’t making the situation of rising car prices any better. Not only are some new vehicles selling for more as a result, demand for used vehicles continues to stay strong. Hopefully by this time next year this problem will be in the rearview mirror.

Sources: CNBC, New York Times, Automotive News Europe and Reuters

 

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