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Private jets used for gold smuggling – Minister

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Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr Uche Ogah, has said private jets are being used for gold smuggling in Nigeria.

Daily Trust report quoted Ogah as stating this at an investigative hearing on $9bn annual loss to illegal mining and smuggling of gold, organised by the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals, Mines, Steel Development and Metallurgy.

Ogah also advocated capital punishment for offenders.

“Gold smuggling in Nigeria is often done using private jets, the very reason why private jets ownership and operations need to be streamlined in the country,” he said.

He said gold smuggling and illegal mining are robbing the country of billions of dollars on a yearly basis.

According to him, the menace thrives due to the connivance of security agencies with the offenders, host communities’ collaboration, low level of application of technology and negative mindsets of Nigerians to Nigeria.

“For these crimes to be fought decisively, potent punitive measures like capital punishment need to be legally provided for,” he said.

He added that the menace could be tackled proactively through the establishment of mines police, special court or tribunals to try offenders, adequate funding for the ministry and positive mindsets of Nigerians to Nigeria.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa), said heads of relevant government agencies would be summoned for a thorough investigation into illegal mining and gold smuggling.

He listed the agencies as Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Nigerian Ports Authority.

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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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