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Bad road, multiple checkpoints compounding Apapa gridlock, says NPA MD

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Acting Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko, has lamented the agonising gridlock on the Apapa road leading to the ports, which has lingered despite various measures made to address the problem.
Although he said the electronic call-up (of trucks) introduced by the authority had brought some sanity into the system, he noted that bad Tin Can road and multiple checkpoints were frustrating the effort.
Bello-Koko, who spoke with newsmen in Lagos, said the gridlock had defied solutions “for more than 10 years now.”
He said, “The Tin Can corridor is bad. We have had discussions with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure that the construction company deploys its gadgets to start construction around that area.
“We have also complained about multiple checkpoints which we have tried to reduce because it is bringing a lot of extortions and creating a lot of traffic.
“The final issue is the stakeholders themselves; they need to buy into this. I keep saying that the worst of ETO is better than the best of the last system that we were using.”
He said as much as priority should be given to the export cargo, the gridlock at Apapa area had made this a difficult task.
He said, “One of the first executive actions I took when I was appointed was to visit the Tin Can Apapa corridor to ensure that the right things are done and the right infrastructure is deployed. We are getting there gradually.
“We have put in some measures to minimise the congestion in and around the ports. NPA was using a manual manifest and call-up system, which was not very effective because of human interference. We have brought in ETO (electronic call-up system) to ensure smooth inward and outward movement of cargo from the port.”
The NPA boss also said, “The idea was to ensure that all trucks coming in are supposed to move from trailer parks to Lilly Ponds than to the port.
“They were supposed to have deployed some physical and electronic infrastructure but that was not done. When I was appointed, I gave them an ultimatum to ensure that those items were installed as quickly as possible. I can assure you today that there has been more deployment of assets by TTP.
“I also requested that we need to sit down and reappraise what they have achieved. incidentally. ETO was 90 days old when I resumed. We analyzed to see where we are, what has been achieved and we identified where the gaps were. So, what I did was push for immediate implementation of the agreement between us and TTP.”
Bello-Koko also spoke on enforcement, adding, “We liaised with the Lagos State Government to ensure that we have the right security operatives on the ground.
“We have also collaborated with Lagos State Government through Lagos State Transport Management Agency, LASMA, which has brought sanity to the system.
“Because of our intense focus, there is improvement. There is a better flow of traffic. But let me finally say that the major hindrance to ETO is the road.
He said some people were sabotaging the NPA’s efforts, saying, “What we have observed is interference by government agencies and the stakeholders themselves.
“Rather than pay the ETO ticket, they find a way to bring in military men. You find out that at night, military men escort vehicles which is sabotage.
“The stakeholders need to buy into the ETO system. We have had town hall meetings with stakeholders to let them understand that this is a system that we are not going to change. The world has gone automated, so we need to reduce human interference.”

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Photos: Kia dazzles Nigerian fans, unveils Sonet, Seltos compact SUVs

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Lovers of compact sport utility vehicles built with sophistication in Nigeria have two new stunning products to celebrate, coming from Kia Motors. They are the all-new Sonet and the high-tech Seltos.

The two models assembled in Nigeria and unveiled in Lagos on Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to substantially raise the market share of Kia in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.

Details later…

 

 

 

 

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Southern govs okay VAT collection by state governments

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Governors of the southern states have agreed that collection of value-added tax (VAT) should be undertaken by state governments.

Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, disclosed this on Thursday while reading a communique at the end of a meeting of the governors in Enugu.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and some state governments are currently in court over VAT collection.

Rivers and Lagos state governments have enacted laws empowering their respective states to collect the tax (VAT).

Last week, the Court of Appeal directed states to maintain status quo on VAT collection pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.

Akeredolu said that the governors affirmed that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.

“We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state,” he said.

He also said, “The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism and emphasised the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.”

Akeredolu urged states in the south to leverage the competence of their houses of assembly and representation at the national assembly to pursue the goal.

He said that the meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress made in the implementation of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the south of Nigeria.

He said, “The meeting expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in the south of Nigeria are amending or enacting the anti-open grazing law.

“This aligns with the uniform template and aspiration of governors in the south and we encourage the states that have yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.

“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region.”

The meeting was attended by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.

Others are Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors in attendance were Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti), Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi), Ude Oko-Chukwu (Abia), Philip Shuaibu (Edo), Prof. Ivara Esu (Cross River) and Placid Njoku (Imo).

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Land Rover to expand Defender with eight-seater 130, showstopper models  

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Land Rover is preparing to expand the Defender lineup, turning it into a family of vehicles similar to what it did with the Range Rover nameplate.

The expansion will specifically cover a long-wheelbase variant, an eight-seater 130, due next year to a posh, six-figure model in 2025, caranddriver.com reports.

According to a report from Autocar, the first variant to arrive will be the 130, an extended-wheelbase version with eight seats and it is due in 2022.

An opulent range-topper is also expected by 2025, and will ride on the MLA platform that will also underpin the next generation Range Rover.

Land Rover already sells multiple versions of the Defender—the stubby but charming two-door 90, the standard four-door 110, and the burly supercharged V8 model.

The 130 should be at least 10 inches longer than the 110, with most of that length added to the rear overhang.

The Defender 130 is expected to only come in higher trim levels and should feature both the six and eight-cylinder engine options.

The US and China will be the stretched Defender’s primary markets, says the report.

The fancier model coming in 2025 will be based on the MLA platform that will underpin the next Range Rover. The MLA platform will support combustion engines, plug-in-hybrid setups, and electric powertrains, and will also form the basis for the next Range Rover Sport, Velar, and Discovery.

This would make a Defender EV possible, but the Range Rover and Velar are expected to have priority for all-electric versions.

The high-end Defender’s interior will be the major distinction, and Autocar says it will feature more vibrant colours and upscale materials.

Although the powertrain landscape will have shifted even further towards EVs by 2025, the luxe-Defender will likely still be powered by the six-cylinder engine.

A plug-in hybrid is also currently sold in Europe, and an evolution of this setup could come to the US as well.

An entry-level Defender 80 had also been rumoured to debut by 2025. It would have been based on the EMA (Electric Modular Architecture) platform, but Autocar reports that this model has been cancelled. That platform will be found in the next Evoque and Discovery Sport, but Land Rover has apparently decided to not move the Defender name down market, as a baby Defender likely wouldn’t have the higher profit margins that should make the 130 and luxury Defender worth the investment.

 

 

 

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