By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Production of Passat by Volkswagen has been halted due to an ongoing battle between the company and one of its suppliers.
This problem has affected Volkswagen AG factories in Germany. The supplier, which VW fails to mention, cuts off the automaker as they fight in court and engage in a public war of words about who’s to blame for the impasse.
VW stopped Passat production on Thursday and will halt assembly of its best-selling Golf on Monday if the conflict isn’t resolved.
Bloomberg said VW has officially said the factories producing those models face slowdowns, as do plants that build chassis, the basic underpinnings of vehicles.
The supplier has essentially called the automaker a bully, prompting VW’s top labour boss to respond that he’s “furious” and the leader of its home state to say “coercive measures” by a court may be needed to end the conflict.
The production holdup threatens to reduce Volkswagen’s earnings by as much as 40 million euros ($45 million) a week — according to Christian Ludwig, an analyst at Bankhaus Lampe — at a time when the carmaker is trying to boost sagging profit at its namesake brand by lowering annual spending by one billion euros.
The conflict centres on a contract that VW signed with the supplier, then later cancelled.
The parts maker, which builds seat and transmission parts, says it wants the auto manufacturer to pay for the plant alterations it made to provide the services.
“This is the most extreme case of escalation between a supplier and a carmaker that I’ve heard of,” said Stefan Bratzel, a director at the Centre of Automotive Management in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. “There have been court cases in the past, but not a supplier stopping deliveries during series production.”
Volkswagen shares fell 1.5 percent to a two-week low of 119.90 euros at the close in Frankfurt. The stock has declined 10 percent this year, valuing Europe’s biggest carmaker at 62.4 billion euros.
Prevent Group’s Car Trim seat-component division and ES Automobilguss transmission-parts unit suspended deliveries after Volkswagen rejected discussions to reimburse the supplier when the new contract was dropped, the parts manufacturer said in a statement.
The cancelled order involved a 500 million-euro deal with Car Trim that was scheduled to start next year, said a person briefed on the supplier’s business, who asked not to be named discussing the legal case.
A German court last week ordered the suppliers to resume deliveries, and an appeal in one of the cases has been set for August 31.
VW in the meantime has asked the court to fine the suppliers and allow the automaker to go to their factories and load up the parts on its own, the court in Braunschweig said in a statement. The parts makers have until next week to respond, and the court will decide then on VW’s request, according to the release.
Christoph Adomat, a VW spokesman, didn’t respond to phone calls and e-mails Friday seeking comment.
Oyo to Register Commercial Motorcycle Riders, Capture Fingerprints, Others
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Very soon, commercial motorcycle riders in Oyo State will require identification numbers and registration jackets to ply their trades in the state.
This is part of efforts to curb every form of criminality and other social vices and regulate the activities of commercial motorcyclists to also prevent the breakdown of law and order.
Business Post gathered that the registration will require each commercial bike rider’s name, address, fingerprint, passport-sized photograph, and a unique ID number.
At a stakeholders’ meeting with over 100 commercial riders’ association leaders in Ibadan on Thursday, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Musibau Babatunde, said the registration is part of the Oyo State government’s drive to ensure the effectiveness of the ongoing state-wide residents’ registration programme, saying the exercise will help in planning properly for the security architecture of the state, in the long-run.
“States across the south-west have been banning operations of commercial motorcyclists, but we know that will have its own socio-economic challenges. So rather than banning them, we felt it is pertinent to know the number of bike riders in the State and use that for our security architecture,” he said.
The Commissioner added that there are multi-dimensional benefits accruable to the registration exercise, both for the motorcyclists and the state, in terms of security and economic planning.
Also, his counterpart in the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun, explained that the registration will help regulate the influx of commercial motorcyclists into the state.
Mr Olatubosun emphasised that the registration will be free, adding that the proactive approach to regulating the activities of commercial motorcyclists by Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration will prevent the breakdown of law and order.
“We will set up a task force consisting of both the union and other relevant agencies that will make sure that unregistered riders don’t operate within the state,” he said.
On his part, the Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT and e-Governance, Mr Bayo Akande, said that the registration process was initiated by the state government to distinguish every rider operating in the state.
“Actually, registration exercises had commenced months back at every Local government and office of the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority. All is now set to provide numbered jackets, in order to identify riders who are duly registered with the state,” the Governor’s aide said.
He said part of the dividends of the registration is the provision of health insurance and other palliatives for riders in the state.
Responding on behalf of the Okada riders, Mr Yusuf Muritala, commended Governor Makinde for not considering a ban on their activities, assuring that his colleagues are ready to cooperate with the state government to register.
He, therefore, expressed the readiness of the commercial motorcycle riders in Oyo State to abide by the rules and regulations established by the government to regulate the activities of their operations, pledging the support of all motorcyclist associations in the state to the government.
However, Mr Muritala appealed to the consultant in charge of the registration exercise to work with leaders in each zone to ensure an expansion of registration points for commercial motorcyclists.
Lagos to Crush 250 Commercial, Power Bikes
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
About 250 commercial and power bikes have been seized by the Lagos State Taskforce for various violations and would be crushed this weekend at the taskforce crushing site in Alausa, Ikeja.
This was disclosed by the chairman of the taskforce, Mr Shola Jejeloye, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), during a visit to the headquarters of the agency in Bolade Oshodi.
Mr Jejeloye said despite the focus on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as ‘Okada’, the State Transport Sector reform laws prohibit motorbikes of any capacity from plying one-way.
According to him, power bikes and motorcycles with capacity above the required standard were confiscated for either driving against traffic (one-way), conveying passengers or plying BRT corridors across the State.
“Riding a power bike does not make you immune to traffic laws of the state, especially when it has to do with riding against traffic on one-way, which is highly dangerous to road users and even pedestrians.
“Any motorbike violating the State traffic laws will be met with the same level of punishment as the Okada riders,” he stated.
The Chairman further disclosed that dispatch riders who have seized the opportunity of the absence of Okada on the highways to transport commuters on their bikes would also have their motorbikes impounded.
He urged all dispatch and delivery bike owners to warn their riders to desist from lifting passengers or risk forfeiting the bikes to the state government, stressing that anyone caught contravening the traffic laws of the State will not be spared.
The police officer used the occasion to reiterate the commitment of the taskforce to enforce the ban on the activities of commercial motorcycle operators in six local governments and nine local council development areas of the state by expanding its tentacles to power bikes and dispatch riders who violate the Traffic Law.
Union Bank Rejigs Board as Titan Trust Bank Takes Full Control
By Dipo Olowookere
An old generation lender, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, has announced a significant change to the composition of its board of directors following the transfer of 93.41 per cent of the bank’s issued share capital to Titan Trust Bank Limited.
In a statement, Union Bank said 10 board members of the company have retired to pave a way for nominees of the new owners.
The Chairman of the firm, Mrs Beatrice Hamza Bassey as well as the chief executive officer, Mr Emeka Okonkwo, will no longer be on the board with effect from Thursday, June 2, 2022.
Mr Okonkwo, who implemented the bank’s new strategy focused on regional coverage and continued the growth trajectory, has expressed his desire to support the new CEO and core investor.
Others who retire from the board include Mrs Obafunke Alade-Adeyefa, an independent non-executive director; Mr Richard Burrett, a non-executive director; Mr Ian Clyne, a non-executive director; Mr Kenroy Dowers, a non-executive director; Mr Paul Kokoricha, a non-executive director, Mr Taimoor Labib, a non-executive director; Mr Mark Patterson, a non-executive director; and Mr Emeka Ogbechie, a non-executive director.
It was gathered that the bank has appointed Mr Mudassir Amray as the CEO of Union Bank effective June 2, 2022. He is a seasoned banker with well-rounded exposure of over 25 years in senior management roles and a proven track record of adaptability in six geographies (USA, Nigeria, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Pakistan) in the course of his career at Citibank and other foreign and local banks, according to a notice from the firm.
Prior to his latest appointment, he led the establishment of Titan Trust Bank Limited and subsequently became the bank’s pioneer CEO in October 2019.
Also, Union Bank has confirmed Mr Farouk Mohammed Gumel as its new Chairman. He is the Group Executive Director for TGI Group and also the Chairman of Wacot Rice Ltd, a subsidiary company of TGI Group, and non-executive chairman at the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
Prior to joining TGI, Mr Gumel was a Partner at PwC and Head of the West African Advisory/Consulting business, covering Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola.
The two will be assisted on the board by Mr Andrew Ojei, a non-executive director; Mr Abubakar Mohammed, a non-executive director; and Mr Lawrence Mackombo, a non-executive director.
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