Volkswagen debunks resumption of assembly operations in Nigeria

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Volkswagen automakers of Germany Saturday evening debunked social media reports that it has resumed assembly of some models of the brand after 20 years of absence from Nigeria.
In a telephone chat with BusinessDay reporter Saturday evening, Andile Dlamini, corporate communications manager of Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) the headquarters of the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) market  of Volkswagen described the news as fake and without any iota of truth.
The VW South Africa spokesman told our reporter that those peddling the fake news must not forget that discussions are still on-going since last year between VW South Africa on behalf of the parent manufacturers in Germany and the Federal Government of Nigeria on how to perfect the details of how to resume assembly operations in the country.
Dlamini disclosed that  previously  the Stallion Automobile  group was the authorised assembly of the VW brand in Nigeria, but that relationship ended few years ago as the automaker is yet to sign on with any local assembler. He did not give details on why the relationship ended.
The VW official stated that for the automaker to commence assembly of the brand in Nigeria, the federal government must not only give e legal backing to the automotive policy, but that the required volume must be guaranteed to justify the huge capital and equipment investments by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
He disclosed that the automaker is yet to choose any local company or group of companies  as would-be preferred local assemblers of the brand in Nigeria.
According to Andile Dlamini, ”Hopefully both representatives of the Nigeria government and the Volkswagen group will be meeting in South Africa in August in another round of discussions that will ultimately culminate into tiding up loosed ends towards  resumption of VW automobile assembly in
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Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail begins commercial activities September

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The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) says commercial activities on the ongoing modernised Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Railway project will begin in September this year from Agege in Lagos to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

Already, 53 coaches, 30 locomotives, 200 wagons of different standards have been ordered to arrive in batches in preparation for the kick-off.

Fidet Okhiria, managing director, NRC, disclosed last week during a routine inspection of the project.

“There are different classes of coaches such as business, economy and luxury, which passengers can choose from according to taste or ability to pay. The standard gauge railway locomotive is designed to run at a speed of 150 kilometres per hour,” Okhiria said.

For example, there are those that have only 24 seats that can be collapsed into beds, rotated to up to 180 degrees, and those to be used as conference rooms’ coaches.

“When they come we will add more coaches to Abuja-Kaduna. We will reinforce Itape-Warri, and the beauty of that is that there are coaches of different standards,” the managing director said.

The NRC boss stated that action on another phase of the standard gauge railway project had begun from Lagos end towards the Apapa seaport, saying, “Work is going on from Ebute Metta towards the ports. They are relocating the narrow gauge to have more rooms for the standard gauge. That is what is going on right now.”

New bridges will be built to replace the ones marked for demolition before the destruction of the old ones to give way to the project, stressing, “We don’t want to throw Lagosians into chaotic situation,” by first demolishing bridges before building alternatives, he pointed out.

He described the project as a long time plan, which had been realised. “What you are seeing now … Read More...

ANAMMCO looks to Chinese brands for survival

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Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company Ltd. ANAMMCO, owners of DONGFENG Motor Truck in Nigeria has appealed to government at all levels to reduce unemployment through patronage of locally produced goods.

ANAMMCO is previously known as assemblers of Mercedes Benz trucks in the past, and later moved to assemble Shacman trucks under contract assembly with Transit Support Services Limited, all in the quest to oil the operations of the age-long assembly plant running.

Olakan Sanyaolu, the sales manager, stated this at the auto plant’s vehicle production observation day where Em-power program students posted to ANAMMCO were conducted round the company’s facilities.

ANAMMCO, he said, is capable of employing over 3000 workers out of the employment market in the sense that, it has different departments that can take skilled and unskilled workers in various fields and ready to meet the trucks and buses needs because it has the capacity.

The plant can produce in single shift 7,500 units of trucks and 1000 units of buses, ” so if government can just give us the contract to build buses for Mass-Transit, you can imagine the kind of employment market it will bust open both directly and indirectly based on the fact that it was going to use local material producers”.

He however lamented that instead of giving contracts to indigenous motor assembling and manufacturing companies to create employment and reduce poverty and hardship, government prefer giving out those employment out to Chinese and other foreign countries who in turn returns them here with an increased costs.

“Imagine what will happened if 5000 buses were given to ANAMMCO to produce ,the number of people that would be involved in the production locally, the glass companies, the foams, Rubber, leaders and companies involves in other components would engage workers. Not to … Read More...

Tough times awaits tricycles, motorcycles without drivers licence

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The Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) last Monday started a clamp down on motorcycles and tricycles operating without number plates and their drivers operating without the class “A” driver’s license.

The move is in ursuant to the need to curb the growing rate of crimes and crashes associated with motorcycles and tricycles and the quest to improve upon the existing National Drivers and Vehicles Database.

Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi said the clampdown order on riders of motorcycles and tricycles without class A rider licence is in tandem with the provisions of Section 10 Sub Section 4(h) and (i)of the FRSC (Establishment) Act, 2007.

In order to ensure an easy process of acquisition of the number plates and the Class “A” Drivers license, the Corps Marshal has notified Motor Licensing Authorities (MLAs) across the country to make the processes less cumbersome for applicants so that motorcycle and tricycle operators can have a smooth and hitch free process of acquisition of the Uniform Licensing Scheme Products.

According to him, applicants who desire to acquire fresh class “A” License must first present themselves for driving test at the Vehicle Inspection Office before advancing to the capturing unit for continuation of the process.

On the reason for the clamp down on August 1, 2019, Bisi Kazeem, the FRSC spokesman said the Corps is not ready to take excuses any more as far as Class ‘A’ License and number plate registration are concerned.

Accordingly, “All tricycle and motorcycle operators must be licensed before they could be allowed to operate so as to enhance established processes for fishing out untrained and unqualified drivers on the roads.

He said that the growing reports of crimes associated with motorcycles and tricycles has made the clampdown imperative so that the successes already recorded by the … Read More...

Lagos rail district battling with train derailments

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The Lagos rail district said it is battling to contain the the challenges confronting it as a result of passenger and freight train derailments along the corridor in recent times which BusinessDay gathered is affecting the downtime of the corporate fleet customers making use of the services.

Speaking with BusinessDay on telephone last Monday, Jerry Oche, the Lagos rail district manager (RDM) of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), he stated, that, there is nothing strange with cases of derailments as the occurrence is part of the hazards experienced in the rail transport industry all over the world.

He however added that, the most important thing is the response of time of railway authorities in tackling the problem as quickly as possible in other not to disrupt the operations of the organisation.

BusinessDay checks reveal that the frequency of derailments have increased since the commencement of the $1.5 billion Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project as most of the narrow railings on which the passenger and freight trains ply have been disaligned in the course of the project.

A derailment occurs when a vehicle such as a train runs off its rails. This does not necessarily mean that it leaves its track. Although many derailments are minor, all result in temporary disruption of the proper operation of the railway system, and they are potentially seriously hazardous to human health and safety.

Usually, the derailment of a train can be caused by a collision with another object, an operational error, the mechanical failure of tracks, such as broken rails, or the mechanical failure of the wheels.

Our reporter had last week reported that, there was a decrease in the number of passengers it conveyed both in its mass transit train, (MTT), diesel multiple units (DMU) and the express … Read More...