By Ahmed Rahma
The world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles and scooters, Hero MotoCorp, has surpassed 100 million units in cumulative production.
This significant milestone of the company is one of the fastest global achievements of the 100 million cumulative production mark, with the last 50 million units coming in a span of just seven years.
The 100 millionth bike, the Xtreme 160R, was rolled out of the company’s manufacturing facility in Haridwar, in the northern Indian hill state of Uttarakhand.
To mark the occasion, the Managing Director, Dr Pawan Munjal, unveiled six special celebration edition models at the company’s manufacturing facility at Gurugram, located in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi.
The six celebration edition models include Splendor+, Xtreme 160R, Passion Pro, Glamour (motorcycles) and Destini 125, Maestro Edge 110 (scooters) which will go on sale from February 2021.
He further outlined the company’s plans and vision for the next five years, saying, “The company will aim to further consolidate its leadership position, expand its global footprint, launch exciting and relevant products and also work on new innovative product concepts.
“As part of the next five-year plan, Hero MotoCorp will introduce over 10 products, including variants, refreshes and upgrades every year.
“Hero MotoCorp also has a steep growth target for its markets outside India. It will continue to grow its operations in these markets and also enter key markets in new geographies.
“Hero MotoCorp will continue to reduce its carbon footprint through its green facilities and fuel-efficient products.
“The company will also continue to work towards the propagation of new mobility solutions both through its internal programs and by supporting the larger external ecosystem,” he concluded.
Hero MotoCorp has been building value for communities across the globe and acting as an economic multiplier with its sales, R&D and manufacturing ecosystems. It also continuously works towards the progress of the societies it operates in.
This is also the 20th consecutive year that Hero MotoCorp has retained the coveted title of the world’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers.
Sanwo-Olu Dares Powerful People Behind Apapa Gridlock
By Ahmed Rahma
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has threatened to publicly mention the names of prominent individuals behind the gridlock situation in Apapa and the environs.
According to a statement on Wednesday, the Governor will do anything to fight the people trying to bring back the old situation in Apapa.
“We will not stop at anything to ensure that anybody that tries to retract and take us back to where we are coming from on the gridlock on Apapa; we will do everything that we can to fight those people.
“We will name and shame them, we will bring out their names, be it a corporate organisation, company, police officer; they will go and answer to the citizens of Nigeria and Lagos. We will bring them to the public court for them to see that we are serious,” he said quoted as saying in the statement.
Recall that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had Saturday inaugurated a new call-up system designed to permanently address the movement of trailers in and out of the ports, and bring about traffic improvement along the corridor.
However, contrary to expectation on the free flow of traffic following the commencement of the electronic call-up system for port operations, the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway had been on a total lockdown as fuel tankers and containerised vehicles parked indiscriminately along the road.
In the statement, Mr Sanwo-Olu appealed to those who are yet to sign up for the call-up system to urgently do so as his government was determined to bring succour to residents of the state.
“We cannot condone the recklessness and carelessness that our citizens have gone through.
“My appeal is to others who have not signed on to this call-up system that we have embarked upon to do so,” he said.
The Governor was also quoted in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, as saying that the new electronic call-up system would bring lasting solutions to the gridlock on the Apapa corridor.
“What we are seeing is the beginning of the lasting solution we have brought to Apapa. Our appeal is that we are not out of the problem completely yet. Our citizens can now see that a journey that took them three hours can, indeed, take between 15 and 20 minutes to commute.
“We have taken some troublesome people that are benefiting from the gridlock out of the way. Whatever they were earning illegally has been taken away from them.
“We know they will want to attempt to fight back. We will not stop at anything to ensure that anybody that tries to retract the progress or wants to take us back to gridlock in Apapa will be fought against,” he said.
Traffic Violation: LASTMA to Acquire Body Cameras for Officials
By Ahmed Rahma
The General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr Olajide Oduyoye, has stated that the agency will employ body camera technology as part of measures to ensure offenders are apprehended with solid evidence.
The traffic control officer said this while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
He said Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu was working towards helping the agency acquire the necessary technologies to checkmate traffic offence within the metropolis.
“This year, we are definitely hoping to start in the next few weeks what you will say are non-approachable offence dealings. That means we are going to be having body cameras on officers to capture incidences because things happen so fast and you can’t really say let me get my camera.
“But if you have your body camera on that is recording, then you can capture all sorts of different things that you can use against offenders,” Mr Oduyoye stated.
He also disclosed that some persons who violate rules often remove traffic signs to deliberately disobey road laws.
“Those who willfully disobey traffic signs go in the middle of the night to remove those signs. When they are caught, they will say that there were no signs. They go and remove the signs to prove they aren’t aware of the signs. This happens all the time,” said the LASTMA GM.
He cautioned road users in Lagos to obey traffic laws and accept the consequences of their actions if they are apprehended for flouting the rules of the road.
Earlier on the show, reacting to a viral video that made rounds on Thursday, showing a sports utility vehicle tipping a police officer off a bridge into a canal while trying to escape arrest, the GM revealed that the driver, Mr Sunday Okodo, has been charged to court with two counts of attempted murder and traffic violation.
The LASTMA boss said the police inspector identified as Mr David Zapaina, has been discharged from the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“He is alive and he has been discharged from the hospital but it is more like he needs to seek more local intervention to reset his bones,” he noted.
A Day in the Life of a Jumia Delivery Agent
E-commerce platforms are meeting the disruptive and dynamic needs of customers with distribution networks that ensure products are delivered at different locations and doorsteps with ease and speed.
A crucial link in the chain is the services of delivery associates/agents who beat hurdles to ensure customer expectations are duly met.
The travails of these associates are mostly lost on customers who after placing their orders are expectant of package delivery within the allotted time.
Micheal Eze, a delivery associate at Jumia, gave snippets into what an average delivery agent has to overcome to get that product at the right location and at the right time.
Eze begins his day at the last mile hub where he receives all the planned deliveries for the day. Despite his experience and familiarity with several routes, some orders take him to uncharted axis and territories.
“I have to rely on the Jumia delivery app to guide me through deliveries to each customer,” the van dispatcher explained.
”The job comes with its challenges. For instance, at a customer’s point of delivery, a customer tells you he or she has cancelled (the order). Also, customers’ delivery time clashes; a customer is telling you to come by 2pm and another is also telling you to come by 2pm,” he added.
With no possible way of being in different places at a time, agents like Eze deploy persuasive communications skills to manage the expectations of their customers. Coupled with the need to navigate traffic rigour in a state like Lagos, they eventually find a way to deliver happiness to all their customers at their most convenient time.
For Eze, he derives satisfaction when he’s able to deliver packages to his customers after all the troubles. He also finds a way to manage stress and cool off the pressure of the day’s work before heading home.
“As a delivery associate, I find it exciting delivering happiness to my customers. My day ends when I’ve been able to deliver most of my packages and I go to my favourite bar to refresh before heading home to my family,” he enthused.
Unemployed Niger Delta Youths to Undergo Training at Innoson Motors
By Ahmed Rahma
Some unemployed youths in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria will undergo training at the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Company in Nnewi, Anambra State.
The training is being sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and it is aimed to involve the youths in productive activities instead of militancy.
The Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Mr Efiong Akwa, explained that the indigent Niger Delta youths would receive technical skills at the company.
Speaking after inspecting facilities at Innoson’s factory, according to a statement issued by the commission’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Ibitoye Abosede, the agency’s chief said the idea of his programme is to set up a vehicle manufacturing plant in the Niger Delta in the near future.
Mr Akwa, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Youths, Mr Udengs Eradiri, said that the training would commence at Innoson Kiara Academy, a technical and vocational institution, affiliated with Innoson.
“The youth will be trained in fabrication, assembly, painting and corrosion control, among others.
“We thought that due to the growing economy of the Niger Delta, it is important to begin to grow our own skills to be better and able to manage our economy.
“Though NDDC is already in partnership with Innoson on the training of youths in different aspects of automobile maintenance, this visit is to firm up the partnership,” he said.
He stated that the Presidential Amnesty Programme had trained several youths from the region in the facility, with good results.
”So, we are aware that the training facility teaches skills, altitude and entrepreneurship.
”We know that if the youth learn one skill or the other, they should be able to translate it into financial gains,” he said.
Also speaking, Innoson’s Kiara Academy Chief Executive Officer, Mr Endi Ezengwa, thanked the commission for considering the facilities at Innoson motors for the training.
According to him, the region is blessed with so much talent that needed to be harnessed and channelled into constructive use, for the industrialisation of the Niger Delta zone.
”Innoson Group will, in due course, set up workshops in the Niger Delta zone, in collaboration with organisations like NDDC,” he assured.
Uber Faces Huge Compensation Claims in UK
By Adedapo Adesanya
Uber is set to face a deluge of compensation claims as the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruled on Friday that drivers must be treated as workers rather than self-employed.
The decision could mean thousands of Uber drivers are entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay, a move that could hurt its business model in one of its biggest markets.
The ruling from the apex court means the ride-hailing giant will start seeing a deluge of compensation claims, which analysts have said would have serious impacts on the gig economy.
The Supreme Court disagreed with Uber’s stance that it is a technology provider and was a booking agent for drivers who are approved by Uber London. It also ruled that drivers were deemed to be working when they were looking for passengers and not just driving them.
According to court documents, “The Supreme Court also holds that the employment tribunal was entitled to find that time spent by the claimants working for Uber was not limited (as Uber argued) to periods when they were actually driving passengers to their destinations, but included any period when the driver was logged into the Uber app within the territory in which the driver was licensed to operate and was ready and willing to accept trips.”
The long-running case was originally brought in 2016 by drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam in an employment tribunal.
The court considered several elements in its judgement. It stated that Uber set the fare which meant that they dictated how much drivers could earn and sets the contract terms and drivers had no say in them.
It added that request for rides is constrained by Uber, which can penalise drivers if they reject too many rides.
It also considered that Uber monitors a driver’s service through the star rating and has the capacity to terminate the relationship if after repeated warnings this does not improve.
Speaking on the decision, Mr Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said: “We respect the court’s decision which focused on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016. Since then, we have made some significant changes to our business, guided by drivers every step of the way.
“These include giving even more control over how they earn and providing new protections like free insurance in case of sickness or injury.
“We are committed to doing more and will now consult with every active driver across the UK to understand the changes they want to see.”
The establishment added that the verdict does not reclassify all UK drivers as workers. The judgement only focused on the group of drivers who brought the claim at a 2016 employment tribunal, many of whom no longer drive on the app.
It also said a worker is not an employee. Employee status was not claimed in the litigation and so this ruling does not find the claimants to be employees.
This comes just months after Uber won an appeal allowing it to continue to operate in London over concerns about its safety practices.
RTEAN to Pay NURTW Welfare Tax for Peace in Lagos
By Dipo Olowookere
In order to avert a similar supremacy battle that broke out last week at the Obalende Garage in Lagos, the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) has been asked to pay a form of tax to its rival association, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
On Monday, the Lagos State government presided over a reconciliatory meeting between the two transport groups on the back of the crisis of last week.
During the meeting in Ikeja, top officials of RTEAN and NURTW spoke on what led to the disturbance of public peace by their respective members.
They both agreed that the ugly situation could have been avoided if necessary actions were earlier taken.
According to the Lagos State Branch Treasurer for NURTW, Mr Mustapha Adekunle, otherwise known as Sego, the trouble was triggered over the control of park unit operations at the garage.
Mr Adekunle explained that the operation of tricycles in one of the units under the control of RTEAN was disrupted by NURTW for their minibus operations.
This was corroborated by the Lagos State Chairman of NURTW, Mr Musiliu Ayinde Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, who emphasised that the boundary operations crisis that ensued between the unions could have been averted, just as so many other issues that could have degenerated into crisis had been amicably settled in the past.
On his part, the Lagos State Secretary of RTEAN, Mr Amusan Olalekan, maintained that the clash could have been averted if leaders of both parties had taken proactive measures at resolving issues immediately they ensued just as the Vice-Chairman of Lagos State Chapter of RTEAN, Mr Gbenga Elesho, argued that the decision of NURTW to take over of some parks, which were initially under the control of his union, was one of the reasons for the incident, which caused the destruction of properties.
In order to prevent a similar crisis from happening, it was agreed that pending the return of tricycle operations by NURTW at Obalende, RTEAN will continue with the operation of their minibuses with welfare fees paid to the former.
Both parties also further agreed to sign a peace deal on Tuesday at the Ministry of Transportation.
It was gathered that the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka, was present at the meeting.
He sued for peace, noting that last week’s incident was worrisome due to the fact that both parties had cohabited peacefully for a long time.
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