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Bank consolidation enemies plotted to kidnap my children, says Soludo

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A former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo, has said his family went into exile because of several threats to their lives when he introduced the banking consolidation policy in 2004.

Soludo added that he received 19 written threats to his life following that policy.

He stated this in an interactive session with some journalists in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

Soludo, who is contesting for the governorship of Anambra State on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, said a good leader must be adamant and revolutionary when embarking on progressive policies.

He said, “I am a very impatient person to see change happen and I am passionate in anything I focus on. At that time, no bank in Nigeria was in the top 1,000 banks in the world. If you needed to make an investment of $500m, you had to go through the then 39 banks and it was an impossible task.

“If you wanted to borrow abroad, there was no bank here to guarantee that. So, I came to the realisation that if we wanted to build a private sector-driven economy, it was not possible with the rickety ‘mama and papa’ banks, which could not guarantee even N3m loan. We, therefore, needed to pull down the house and rebuild it.

“There was nothing I did not see. I received 19 written threats to my life. Even there were attempts to kidnap my children at Offa in Kwara State. So, it was a very brutal revolution. I had to evacuate my family during the banking consolidation because when you want to uproot a system, it is usually a deadly routine.”

The Professor of Economics said his quest to govern the state was not for personal enrichment as God had blessed him all round, even before he became 30 years.

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Auto

Famous 4×4 Grenadier coming to Nigeria, courtesy Coscharis Motors

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Coscharis Motors has announced its readiness to introduce the popular rugged off-road vehicle, Grenadier, to the Nigerian auto market.

This follows the naming of the auto company by INEOS Automotive as its official retail partner in Nigeria.

Nigeria is the sixth market in Sub-Sahara Africa to join the brand after South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia and Botswana.

A statement on Monday by Abiona Babarinde, the auto firm’s General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, said, “The first Grenadier demonstrator vehicles are expected to arrive in Nigeria in early 2023 with customer deliveries expected to commence within the first quarter.

“All after-sales servicing will be conducted at a dedicated workshop also located in Lagos.”

Commenting on this partnership, the President/CEO of Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka, said, “We are proud that INEOS Automotive has appointed Coscharis Motors to represent its brand in Nigeria. “This milestone marks another step in the evolution of our company. With our history and experience of the Nigerian market, we know that the INEOS Grenadier is going to be a serious player in the off-road segment.

“We have no doubt that the Grenadier has what it takes to handle Africa’s tough terrain and that it is the perfect option to meet the specific demands of those who need a capable, refined, and reliable off-road vehicle in the region. We look forward to the first customer test drives and hearing public feedback, because this vehicle is definitely going to stir things up in Nigeria.”

The statement quoted Tim Abbott, INEOS Automotive’s Head of Region South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa, as saying, “We are carefully selecting our partners across the SSA region, to find people who know their local market and customers, and also understand our brand.

“Coscharis Motors shares our belief that the INEOS Grenadier is the perfect vehicle not only for Nigeria, but for the continent. Our shared passion for off-roading, along with their excellent reputation in the automotive industry, makes it the perfect partnership for Grenadier in Nigeria.”

Coscharis says the Grenadier has been developed to be refined on the road and extraordinarily capable off-road.

“The Grenadier is powered by a choice of two straight-six, 3.0-litre BMW engines. Both the BMW B57 diesel and B58 petrol powertrains have a proven track record, regularly appearing in top ten world’s best engine lists since 2016. They have been used in everything from sports cars to SUVs.

“The two power units bring BMW’s sophistication and refinement to the Grenadier, but they have been enhanced by INEOS Automotive’s engineering team. As well as providing powerful acceleration on tarmac, they also deliver peak torque at low revs – sustaining it through the rev range – for optimal off-road performance,” it states.

It also notes that the carefully calibrated characteristics help the driver to confidently manage the vehicle’s momentum and grip without stressing the engine, ensuring full control when tackling tricky terrain.

It adds, “The refined turbo petrol engine produces 286PS (210kW) and 450Nm (332 lb ft) of torque, while the twin-turbo diesel generates 249PS (183kW) and 550Nm (406 lb ft), for even greater pulling power. Start/stop is built-in, increasing range and preserving air quality when the vehicle is stationary.

“While it is every inch a rugged 4X4, it ticks all the right boxes on the road, too. The chassis combines a five-link suspension setup with Brembo brakes and Bridgestone tyres, meaning the Grenadier is composed, well- mannered and fun to drive no matter what the terrain.”

The firm also reveals that by the end of this year, INEOS Automotive plans to have a network of more than 200 sales and service sites for the Grenadier spanning over 50 countries, including established dealer groups, 4X4 specialists and agricultural equipment dealers.

 

 

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Business

UBA names Abiola Bawuah as first female CEO

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The United Bank for Africa Plc on Monday announced the appointment of Abiola Bawuah as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

It said Bawuah would also join the group board as an executive director, overseeing the vroup’s operations across the African continent, outside Nigeria.

A statement by the bank disclosed this, adding that Bawuah, a Ghanaian national, is the first female CEO of UBA Africa.

It stated, “Her appointment further demonstrates UBA’s commitment to diversity. The UBA Group Board now includes eight female Directors.

“Prior to her appointment, Mrs Bawuah was Regional CEO, West Africa, supervising the Group’s operations in nine subsidiaries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. She previously held the role of CEO, UBA Ghana.”

Speaking on the new appointment, the Group Board Chairman, Tony Elumelu, said, “Abiola has contributed significantly to the growth of UBA Africa for close to a decade. She brings a wealth of experience in commercial banking and stakeholder engagement. It also gives me great pleasure that with her appointment, the UBA Group Board has now become a majority female board.”

The UBA Group also announced Chris Ofikulu as the Regional CEO, UBA West Africa.

Ofikulu has over two decades of banking experience spanning corporate, commercial, and retail banking.

UBA operates in 19 African countries beyond Nigeria, in addition to global operations in New York, London, Paris and the UAE, according to the statement.

 

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Railway

Police arrest two suspected train vandals in Lagos

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The police in Lagos have arrested two men suspected to specialise in vandalising and stealing railway track.

They were said to have been arrested in the early hours of Monday January 30 while conveying in a private car some pieces of cut off rail track to an unknown destination.

Spokesperson for the Lagos State Police Command, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, disclosed the arrest of the two suspects on his Twitter handle.

He stated, ”At about 1am today, a patrol team from Ijora Badia Division intercepted a Mitsubishi Lancer car conveying vandalised railway tracks. The two occupants of the vehicle have been arrested. Investigation is ongoing.”

Some incidents of train derailment in parts of the country have been traced to sudden damage to rail track suspected to have been done by vandals.

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