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CBN allays fears over indefinite suspension of eNaira launch

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says its indefinite postponement of the launch of the country’s first digital currency, eNaira, has nothing to do with a suit filed to stop the scheme.

It however cited other key activities lined up for Nigeria’s independence anniversary and the mood of the nation as reasons for its action.

The apex bank had launched the website for the operation ahead of the scheme launch proper and informed the citizens to download the eNaira app on their mobile gadgets from October 1, 2021.

But spokesperson for the CBN, Osita Nwasinobi, in a statement on Thursday, announced the suspension of the eNaira launch, saying it was in deference to the mood of national rededication to the collective dream of One Nigeria.

No new date was however given for the launch.

This is coming a day after ENaira Payment Solutions Limited instituted a suit before a federal high court against the Central Bank of Nigeria over the name “eNaira.”

The firm, through its lawyers, had accused the CBN of trademark infringement, notifying it to desist from using the proposed name.

The CBN statement read in part, “Ahead of the anticipated launch of Nigeria’s Central Bank Digital Currency, known as eNaira, the spokesman for the Central bank of Nigeria, Mr Osita, says the planned unveiling on October 1, 2021, has now been deferred due to other key activities lined up to commemorate the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary.”

Nwasinobi said the CBN and other partners were working round the clock to ensure a seamless process that would be for the “overall benefit of the customer, particularly those in the rural areas and the unbanked population”.

He stressed that the digital currency would ease peer-to-peer transfer, pay for goods and services at selected merchants once launched.

The CBN director added that the apex bank had put a structure in place to promptly address any issue that might arise from the pilot implementation of the eNaira.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo gave a go-ahead for the eNaira launch.

The defendant’s counsel, DD Dodo (SAN) had urged the court to strike out the plaintiff’s motion seeking to restrain the launch of the central bank digital currency, considering its significance to the national economy.

The court was not disposed to striking out the motion but held that the launch of the digital currency could go ahead in the interest of the country, especially as the plaintiff could be adequately compensated.

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AutoTrends: Customs to reintroduce suspended e-valuation of vehicles Friday

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it will reintroduce the suspended electronic valuation of vehicles on Friday.

The NCS said this in a letter dated May 17, 2022, and signed by Ajibola Odusany, NCS’ deputy controller, administration, on behalf of Yusuf Malanta, area controller in charge of the Apapa Command of the service.

Also known as vehicle inspection number (VIN), the policy has generated controversy since its introduction this year.

Clearing agents associations had protested against the e-valuation policy and grounded activities at the ports.

The freight forwarders said the e-valuation system sharply increased duty paid on imported vehicles.

This had forced the NCS to suspend the implementation of the VIN policy, following the intervention of the House of Representatives.

In bringing back the policy, the NCS said there would be a sensitisation programme for stakeholders in the clearance chain in preparation for the redeployment.

“In line with the planned nationwide deployment of the VIN Valuation on Friday, 20 May 2022, and the need to continually enhance the platform for optimal performance and service delivery, the sensitisation which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at 11:00 am is to hold at the Apapa Command conference hall. The Deputy Controller Administration, A Y. Odusanya, on behalf of the Customs Area Controller requested that clearing agents should send their representatives to attend, saying the session would benefit everyone and further clarify any question,” the letter stated.

Acting President of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto, confirmed the development,

saying the association would speak after the training.

“We’re going for the training. So, we can’t say anything until we’re through with the training,” he said.

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AutoTrends: Stop driving your old crossovers, Mercedes warns, recalls ML, others

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Mercedes-Benz has asked owners of certain older crossovers to stop driving due a to corroded brake booster that could cause the brakes to fail.

The automaker said the request and corresponding recall applied to 292,287 ML-, GL-, and R-Class crossovers and SUVs from the 2006-2012 model years.

Recalls are common, but urging customers to stop driving is not,  according to thecarconnection.com.

In the affected vehicles, water exposure in the brake booster housing can cause a joint to corrode, leading to a leak in the brake system.

Brake force may also be reduced, forcing drivers to press harder on the brake pedal to decelerate and come to a stop. In rare cases, Mercedes said, it may be impossible to stop if there has been severe corrosion.

The risk of a crash or injury would increase, although Mercedes said it was aware of no known crashes or injuries related to the issue.

According to the premium brand automaker, the emergency brake pedal is not affected, and could be used in case of a regular brake pedal failure. Mercedes will provide complimentary towing of the affected vehicles to service centers.

Dealers are expected to inspect the brake booster housing and replace parts as required. If the part cannot be fixed immediately, Mercedes said it will help “coordinate an individual solution for the customer, including alternate mobility.”

 

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AutoTrends: Hyundai Sonata models face fuel leak risk

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A potential fuel hose leak in 2013 and 2014 models of Hyundai Sonata has again led to the immediate recall of the vehicles globally.

The NHTSA disclosed this, noting that the factory fault could increase the risk of a fire.

The 2013-2014 Sonata and 2013-2014 Kia Optima had previously been recalled for a fuel hose that can crack prematurely and leak fuel.

The tape and zip-tie remedy for those earlier recalls did not stick.

With the new recall, the fuel line will be replaced at no cost to owners, Hyundai states.

Without the proper fix, the leaking fuel could come in contact with a spark or ignition source that could cause a fire in the engine compartment, thecarconnection.com notes.

The recall encompasses 215,171 Sonatas. Owners may smell fuel on vehicles equipped with either the 2.0-litre turbo-4 or 2.4-litre inline-4 engines. Hyundai reported 138 incidents in the past two years of the defect, but the automaker said there were no known crashes, fires, or injuries.

Hybrid versions of both sedans from those model years were recalled for a separate fire risk.

Hyundai and sister brand Kia have issued a series of recalls for increased fire risk for a variety of reasons, ranging from a faulty electrical socket (2011-2012 vehicles) to a short circuit in the braking system (2006-2011 Elantras).

Owners will be notified by mail as early as July 5, and will be instructed to take their affected Sonata into a dealer to have the fuel feed line replaced at no charge, regardless of warranty status.

Hyundai owners who paid for fuel line repairs to address the leak will be reimbursed.

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