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BMW drops Nigeria’s UFC star Adesanya as brand ambassador over rape comment

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Nigerian-born UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, has been dropped as BMW brand ambassador.

Adesanya was to be unveiled on Monday, March 29, 2021, as a brand ambassador to German vehicle manufacturer, BMW.

But the event was said to have been shelved following his rape comment aimed at middleweight contender, Kevin Holland, earlier this week.

Replying to recent insulting comments made by UFC Vegas 22 headliner, Holland on a since-deleted Instagram story, Adesanya said;, “Bro, I will f*cking rape you.”

In a statement released to Herald, BMW said, “Due to the comments made by an athlete (Israel Adesanya) online, we have reviewed our pending association with said athlete and we have decided not to push forward with a specific ambassador for the brand at this time in New Zealand.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for sport in New Zealand, Grant Robertson addressed the recent comment made by Adesanya, detailing how flippant comments about rape should never be made.

“We have to take rape seriously; it’s not an issue that anyone should be making jokes or flippant comments about at all,” Robertson said during an interview with Radio New Zealand.

He added, “I’m sure Israel (Adesanya) understands that, I believe he has deleted the tweet (sic) in question. It will be up to the UFC as to what they do.”

In a statement released via his official Twitter account, Adesanya apologised for the comment on Instagram.

“Last weekend fight talk escalated to a point in which I crossed the line,” Adesanya wrote on his official Twitter.

“I understand the gravity of this word and how it can affect and hurt other people apart from my opponent, although that was NEVER my intention. I am still to growing (sic) under the spotlight, and I take this as a lesson to be selective with words under pressure,” he added.

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Gas-powered mass transit buses set for operation in Nigeria

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A revolutionary mass transit operation using ECO-Green buses is soon to be introduced in some Nigerian city centres.
The buses already being used in major cities of the world are powered by flare gas recovered compressed natural gas (CNG), which is usually flared in the Niger Delta, Nigeria and causing environmental pollution and crisis in the region.
Chief Executive Officer of Austrian Technologies Nigeria Limited, Johann Rieger, said the ECO-green buses had been built on European standards for critical climate and infrastructure as in Nigeria.
According to him, the buses are the safest and most economic public mass transit vehicles that can reduce carbon footprints by 95 per cent and operating cost by 30 per cent.
Specifically, he said the buses, coming with a lifespan of at least 15 years, had been equipped with engines of higher emission standards (Euro 5) with no toxic, smog or smoke, guaranteeing reduced noise and lower fuel costs. In Malaysia, those buses run 15 years with over 90% average uptime.
Rieger also said the project would guarantee local capacity building of the buses through extensive transfer of the technology and know-how within a short time of the entire value chain.
Indeed, he said, “Up to 70 per cent of all components of the eco-green buses should be manufactured or assembled locally within five years of operation including the first green engine.”

He said the project would come with uniquely designed and efficient drivers’ safety training that would allow safe increase of passengers’ capacity by 30 per cent in accordance with international standards of public transport.

He said the vehicle had been built with the highest operational standards and expected to save the operator a minimum of $25,000 in comparison to any other large capacity bus.

He noted that six eco-green buses would do the job of at least 10 biggest BRT buses currently being operated in Nigeria and by switching over to locally available natural gas, he said at least $20,000 of foreign exchange is also saved.

He noted that driving with natural gas is the most environmentally friendly solution wherever this green fuel is available. They partnered already with local CNG suppliers who are ready to invest and guarantee 24/7 availability of the gas directly inside the bus depot of operators anywhere in the country.

About 90 per cent uptime, and maximum efficiency and transparency would be guaranteed through permanent real-time monitoring of each bus by eco- telematics and extended after-sale service with 24/7 spare parts availability and directly including service and wear parts for the first two years, said Rieger.

Some of the unique features of an ECO-green bus are given as roof mounted CNG cylinder with up to 500km range and gas leakage detection system and tyre pressure monitoring system.
The air and surfaces in their buses is permanently and chemical free sanitized by their ECO Viroxx air conditioning system with bipolar ionization.
Others are speed limiter, alcohol test and driver’s fatigue detection with driver’s biometric identification, CCTV camera system that can be directly integrated into the city surveillance system reverse camera; handicapped ramp and wheelchair area.

Rieger listed some of the technical features of the bus as electronic dashboard with extended eco-telematics system, real time driver’s feedback on safety and economic driving; on board video education in cooperation with UNICEF.
The bus is said to come on the same bus platform as 8.7m for 60 passengers; 10.5m for 80 passengers, 12m for 100 people and 18m accommodating 160 passengers.

 

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Autochek, Appzone collaborate on flexible vehicle finance solution

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Autochek automotive technology company has entered into a partnership with Appzone Group, a leading FinTech firm, to provide Nigerians with quick and flexible access to car financing, including those in the rural areas.
The partnership, according to the two firms, will see the Autochek platform integrating with Appzone’s proprietary digital core banking service, BankOne, in facilitating access to credit from over 400 microfinance institutions for people across the country.
Speaking at the official signing event, Chief Technology Officer at Autochek, Chetan Seth, said, “Obtaining access to financing in Nigeria is a tedious process. At Autochek, we are committed to providing consumers with seamless access to credit in order for them to own their vehicles. With technology, we are able to provide vehicle financing at sca d this will be accelerated even further by integrating with le, an Appzone’s network.
“We are very much customer-focused and we operate in an on-demand economy, we therefore recognise the need to efficiently provide a plethora of options for customers to access loans. Our partnership with Appzone will enable us to further increase their options through access to the microfinance banks currently available on their platform.”

Mr Mudiaga Umukoro, the CEO of Appzone Core, a subsidiary company of Appzone Group said, “BankOne is our flagship product and Africa’s foremost banking-as-a platform (BaaP) solution. Over the last 10 years, we have focused on digitizing the microfinance sector. We have enabled over 400 microfinance institutions spread across the entire country, with the capability for fully-digital banking operations. And now through our partnership with Autochek, these institutions available can now provide quick digital loans to prospective car owners anywhere in Nigeria.
“What this ensures is a win-win approach as MFBs can target more customers as well as increase revenue through loan offerings, whilst customers across the country, either in urban or remote areas, are more easily empowered with business and/or personal vehicles with little hassle.”
Some details about the new auto loan arrangement provided in a statement indicate that the credit sourcing process starts with the listing of prequalified vehicles from the dealers on Autochek’s platform.
Potential customers have the opportunity to select their choice from a pool of cars that have gone through a 150 point inspection process carried out by Autochek’s accredited technical experts.
The customers are then able to submit their loan applications digitally through the autochek website to over 400 financial partners currently available on Appzone’s BankOne network. Within 24 hours, customers receive multiple offers and have the option to select their most preferred financial partner.
Appzone transitions all accepted loan applications into the BankOne’s proprietary credit administration module which automatically enables the account opening, underwriting and eventual disbursement.
The customer is now able to get a transparent step-by-step update throughout the whole process.

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Fake lubricant factory uncovered, shut in Kano

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The Kano State Consumer Protection Council says it has raided a house where fake engine oil is produced.
The house is located at Rijiyar Lemo Quarters in the Fagge Local Government Area.
The Managing Director of the council, Dr Baffa Babba Dan’agundi, who disclosed this in Kano, said that another place had also been identified by the council at Kwanar Ungogo where about 300 gallons of pirated engine oil labelled with logos and stickers of different engine oil companies were confiscated.
Dan’agundi, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on KAROTA, Nasiru Usman Na’ibawa, also said the products which were confirmed to be fake and adulterated could cause damage to vehicles’ engines and generators.
He said all the products had been taken to the council’s warehouse for further investigation and necessary action against the unscrupulous persons engaging in such business.

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