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Anxiety, confusion over NCC’s shut down letter

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A leaked letter allegedly from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directing all telecommunications providers to shut down services in Zamfara State from September 3 has generated anxiety and confusion within the industry.

Many Nigerians are also anxious following the refusal of the NCC to confirm the authenticity of the letter.

The letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officers of the telecoms companies, a copy of which was sighted by The Nation, said the decision to shut down facilities is “to enable relevant security agencies to carry out required activities towards addressing the security challenges in the State.”

However, attempts to confirm the authenticity of the letter from the Director of Public Affairs of the NCC, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, failed.

He did not respond to inquiries up to the time of filing this report.

Other sources within the NCC top echelon simply refused comment on the matter.

The letter titled: “Re: Shutdown of all telecom sites in Zamfara State” was signed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta.

It reads: “The pervading security situation in Zamfara State has necessitated an immediate shut down of all telecom services in the state from today, September 3, 2021.”

Specifically, the letter sighted by our correspondent, which was addressed to the Chief Executive of Globacom networks, directed the operators “to shut down all sites in Zamfara State and any site(s) in neighbouring states that could provide telecommunications service in the State. The site shutdown is for two weeks (September 03-17, 2021) in the first instance. Your urgent action in this regard is required.”

While the directive was specific about Zamfara State, it made reference to any other facilities in any site(s) in neighbouring States that could provide telecommunications service in Zamfara, a development that has generated anxiety that States bordering Zamfara such as Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna could be affected by the directive.

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SERAP sues Buhari over alleged missing N11tn electricity fund

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President Muhammadu Buhari has been dragged to court by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) for allegedly failing probe N11tn electricity fund said to missing.

The money, according to SERAP, was meant to provide regular electricity supply for the country since 1999, and it is suspected to have “been stolen, mismanaged or diverted into private pockets.”

In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1119/2022 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP sought for “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to investigate how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply has been allegedly squandered by governments since 1999.”

This is coming after it was reported that Nigeria’s electricity grid has collapsed at least three times within five months, and 130 times in seven years, plunging many households across the country into darkness.

 

 

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Toyota-Suzuki joint SUV coming in August, Africa listed

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The collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki is set to manifest in concrete terms as Toyota says it will start the production of a new SUV model developed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd from August.

The Suzuki-developed SUV will come with mild and strong hybrid variants – made in India for both brands, multiple sources including motorauthority.com report.

The two companies are said to be planning to export the new model to markets outside India including Africa.

Toyota and Suzuki are promoting mutual supply of vehicles globally, which is one of the collaborations in their business partnership.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding for a business alliance in 2017. Since then, the two companies have been bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in technologies for compact vehicles for joint collaboration in production and in the widespread popularization of electrified vehicles.
The powertrains of the new model to be on sale in India will be equipped with mild hybrid developed by Suzuki and strong hybrid developed by Toyota.
By bringing together strengths of both Toyota and Suzuki through the collaboration, the two companies say they will be able to provide a wide variety of vehicle electrification technologies to customers and contribute to the acceleration of electrification and the realization of a carbon-neutral society in India.

While Suzuki leads and understands the India market, Toyota brings hybrid tech to the table.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited and TKM will market the new model in India as Suzuki and Toyota models, respectively.

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Ford to end production of Focus in 2025

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Ford has confirmed that it will stop producing the Focus model in 2025, in a move that threatens the longer-term future of its Saarlouis, Germany plant that only makes that model.

Nigeria may not miss the exit of the Focus as it has not really been as popular as other Ford models such as the Escape, the Edge and Everest.

Ford however said that its plant in Saarlouis would continue to produce the Ford Focus passenger car, while the company is also evaluating options for future site concepts.
In Europe, Ford has emphasised the future role for electrified models – which includes its Cologne plant in Germany being a hub for EV production. It will build a new SUV based on VW’s MEB platform from 2023.
Ford also recently announced that its Valencia, Spain, plant would receive investment for making electric vehicles on a next-generation electric vehicle architecture.

 

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