By Dipo Olowookere
Plans have been concluded by Chinese automaker, SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, to launch its first manufacturing plant of in Africa. This is part of the firm’s expansion drive into the African market.
The new factory will be situated in Tunisia, a northern African nation. Recently, SAIC Motor signed an agreement with a Tunisian firm, Meninx Holding, for the setting up of the plant in the country to serve African and European markets.
SAIC Motors noted that the new deal forms part of its strategic expansion agenda to become a leading player in the world automobile industry.
In 2017, SAIC Motor sold 6.6 million cars and is currently the leading car manufacturer in China, controlling 23 percent of the country’s market thanks to its brands Roewe and Morris Garage (MG) vehicles as well as joint ventures with Volkswagen and General Motors.
According to the automaker, the deal with Meninx was completed at the recently held Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in Pekin.
Over the years, Meninx has distributed MG cars in Tunisia under the leadership of Mehdi Tamarziste and with this new development, it will now act as SAIC’s partner in Africa.
SAIC Motor, formerly Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, is a Chinese state-owned automotive design and manufacturing company headquartered in Shanghai, China, with multinational operations.
Currently, it participates in the oldest surviving sino-foreign car making joint venture, with Volkswagen, and in addition has had a joint venture and 40% shares of General Motors since 1998.
Delivery Bikes Not Affected by Lagos Okada Ban—Police Chief
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Commissioner of Police for Lagos Command of the Nigeria Police Force, Mr Abiodun Alabi, has clarified that delivery bikes will not be affected by the latest ban on commercial motorcycles commonly called okada.
The Governor of Lagos, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday announced a fresh ban on activities of okada riders in six local government areas of the state.
Speaking to Channels Television on Sunrise Daily on Thursday, Mr Alabi said, “It does not affect couriers, but the couriers will not carry passengers,
“We will have to make sure they are couriers and not pretending to be one.
“Then the other officers who are okada owners must be uniformed personnel who are going to their various places of work.
“Those who own power-bikes are not affected, because it’s not meant for commercial purpose.”
The police chief said, unlike the previous times, the new policy will be thoroughly enforced, alleging that most okada riders are criminals and must be taken off the road.
However, he acknowledged that banning okadas may have its side effects.
“We know that banning the okada riders can actually increase the crime rate. And we are not unmindful of that and we are already putting in place a lot of strategies to contend with it,” he said.
“We know that it will send a lot of them to unemployment. We are aware of that and are preparing for it,” he added.
The latest ban on okada operators in the affected councils followed the February 2020 restriction placed on the activities of the commercial motorcycles.
The Governor, who spoke at a meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) at the State House in Alausa, said the directive affected all highways across six Local Government Areas (LGAs) and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.
According to Mr Sanwo-Olu, the new directive will take effect from June 1, 2022, directing security operatives to enforce the proscription order across the listed councils.
He said, “The total ban order extends to all LCDAs under the listed councils,” which are Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa.
Again, Governor Sanwo-Olu Bans Okada in Lekki, Ikeja, Others
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a total ban on operations of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, in Lekki and other places.
At a meeting on Wednesday, he said the directive will become effective from June 1, 2022, and affects six Local Government Areas (LGAs) and nine Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.
According to him, okada riders will not be allowed to ply highways in these areas, which include Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa.
The action of the governor followed the growing menace and nuisance constituted by commercial motorcycles in the state, including the lynching of a Sound Engineer, Mr David Imoh, in the Lekki area of the state last week.
This is not the first time Mr Sanwo-Olu is restricting operations of commercial motorcycles as in February 2020, he banned Okada operations in the state.
At the meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Area Commanders and Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) at the State House in Alausa today, the Governor said the state government would not condone any security formation that relaxes the new ban in its jurisdiction.
“After critical review of our restriction on Okada activities in the first six Local Government Areas where we restricted them on February 1, 2020, we have seen that the menace has not abated. We are now directing a total ban on Okada activities across the highways and bridges within these six Local Governments and their Local Council Development Areas, effective from June 1, 2022.
“This is a phased ban we are embarking on this period, and we expect that within the short while when this ban will be enforced, Okada riders in other places where their activities are yet to be banned can find something else to do. We have given the notice now and we expect all commercial motorcycles plying the routes in the listed councils and areas to vacate the highways before enforcement begins. The enforcement will be total,” he said.
Mr Sanwo-Olu advised residents patronising Okada riders on highways to embrace the alternative transport schemes already provided by the government to plan their journey.
He said the government had provided last mile buses, medium-capacity and high-capacity buses in the affected areas for the convenience of commuters.
The Governor insisted that Okada riding on the highways remained unsafe and would no longer be tolerated, noting that the state government had been ramping up construction work on its two rail line projects to further increase the choices of commuting for residents.
“We have provided last-mile buses in the affected areas; they are working and effective. We also have medium-capacity buses and high-capacity buses working in these areas. Before the end of the year, we are also bringing the rail along these corridors with their terminals. We have provided jetties as well to provide alternatives.
“We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use that mode of transportation (motorcycles) to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos.
“Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws. The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement,” he said.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Abiodun Alabi, directed his men to ensure complete enforcement of the Governor’s order in the listed councils and areas.
Lagos to Prosecute Truck Driver, One Other Over Attack on VIS Officials
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A truck driver and one other suspect would be prosecuted by the Lagos State government for allegedly attacking operatives of the Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS).
The VIS officials were reportedly beaten by a mob on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, along Airport Road in Oshodi, resulting in two of the operatives receiving treatment at the hospital.
According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Frederic Oladeinde, the government officials were attempting to apprehend the truck driver for allegedly violating the traffic law of the state when the mob descended on them, using various weapons to attack them.
Mr Oladeinde, who frowned at the development, promised that the Lagos State government will take decisive action against the perpetrators of the act.
He said the truck driver and one of the attackers have been apprehended and would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, stressing that others who are still at large will soon be brought to book.
Mr Oladeinde decried the frequent attacks on the enforcement teams of the state government by citizens, warning that those caught in the act will continue to face the full wrath of the Law.
Also speaking on the incident, the Director, Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service, Mr Akin-George Fashola, urged members of the public to always channel their grievances against government officials to the appropriate authorities for necessary action instead of taking laws into their hands through unwarranted attacks.
“As we say in the transport sector, safety implementation without enforcement is mere entertainment. The role of the VIS is to ensure sanity on our roads for the safety of lives and property and if in the cause of this onerous assignment, you feel hard done by our officials, the last thing you want to do is to resort to self-help which is against the law. Endeavour to channel your grievances through the appropriate channel,” Mr Fashola advised.
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