The Federal Government on Thursday sealed an agreement of $11m (N2.17bn) with the Japanese Government for an emergency improvement of electricity supply facilities in Abuja.
The project to be implemented by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the Ministry of Power is aimed at procuring and installing power capacitor banks at the existing two sub-stations in Abuja and neighbouring Nasarawa State.
This, according to the agreement, will decrease the transmission loss and assist in stabilising power supply to approximately 7,000 households within the Federal Capital Territory.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, signed the pact on behalf of the Federal Government, while the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke, signed on behalf of his country.
He noted that the project had been designed to support Nigeria in promoting social-economic and infrastructural development.
Udoma said, “The sustained implementation of this project is expected to pave way for a significant access to quality socio-economic services, thereby leading to reduction in unemployment in the country and promoting community empowerment.
“The Federal Government remains committed to working closely with various stakeholders in the economy to achieve sustainable economic development. This ministry will ensure that we create an enabling environment required for the sustainability of this partnership.”
When asked by journalists how a padded budget was sent to the National Assembly without the ministry detecting the figures, the minister replied that such an occurrence was not unusual with budget proposals.
He said the issue was currently being discussed with the National Assembly and would soon be resolved.
Udoma said, “It (padding) is normal in a budget process. Proposals are presented, sometimes issues are on and they are sorted out. So, it is fairly routine and it shouldn’t be over emphasized.
“These are routine things, which are resolved as they come up; and so, it’s not an issue and we are discussing amicably with the National Assembly.”
In his remarks, the Japanese envoy said Nigeria’s power sector had been one of the priority in his country’s development cooperation with Nigeria.
Kusaoke said, “The power sector is a key to improve the quality of life for people and also to promote industry. Power supply is one of the determinant factors when both domestic and foreign investors decide whether or not to invest in a county.
Nigeria’s Twitter Ban Leaves Some Businesses in the Lurch
Lagos-based entrepreneur Ogechi Egemonu was selling more than 500,000 naira ($1,219) worth of watches, shoes and handbags on Twitter per week.
Now, with the site suspended by the Nigerian government, Egemonu does not know how she will cope.
“Social media is where I eat,” she told Reuters. “I depend on social media for my livelihood.”
Scores of small and medium-sized businesses across Africa’s most populous nation – and largest economy – are reeling from the indefinite suspension of the social media site.
Nigeria announced the suspension on June 4, days after the platform removed a post from President Muhammadu Buhari that threatened to punish regional separatists. Most telecommunications sites have since blocked access.
NOI Polls estimates that 39.6 million Nigerians use Twitter – 20% of them for business advertisement and 18% to look for employment. Experts warn its lack of ready availability – it is accessible using Virtual Private Networks that mask location – could ripple across the economy.
“The ban has significant collateral damage,” said Muda Yusuf, director general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, who said that a “sizeable number of citizens” use Twitter to make a living.
Dumebi Iyeke, a research analyst with the Financial Derivatives Company, said it would hit young Nigerians – among whom there is a 45% unemployment rate – the hardest.
“We are looking at a potential loss in their revenue,” Iyeke said, adding that it could further lower living standards amid high inflation.
Information Minister Lai Mohammed last week said that all social media sites must register a local entity and get a license to operate. He cited complaints over lost money as proof that the ban was effective, but said other sites are still available.
Toyota Produced Lowest Number Of Vehicles In Almost A Decade – 7.55M Vehicles In FY 2021
Global mobility was essentially halted by COVID-19 in 2020 resulting in a huge financial downturn for even the giants of the car manufacturing industry. According to data presented by TradingPlatforms.com, Toyota produced its lowest number of vehicles in almost a decade – 7.55M units in FY ending March 2021.
Toyota Produced 7.55M Vehicles in FY 2021 Its Lowest Since 2012
Toyota Motor Corporation or more popularly known as simply Toyota is a car manufacturer from Japan founded in 1937. As of July 2014, Toyota was the largest listed company from Japan based on market capitalization, a ranking it still holds as of writing. Toyota was also listed by Forbes as the 42nd largest company in the world based on market cap.
However, even the giants of Japanese car manufacturing were not immune to the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its financial year (FY) ending in March 2021, Toyota only produced 7.55M units of vehicles compared to 8.82M in FY 2020. FY 2021’s figure is also the lowest number of vehicles produced by Toyota since FY 2012 when Toyota only produced 7.44M vehicles.
Toyota Sold Most Cars In North America But Generated Largest Revenue From Japan in FY 2021
North America is Toyota’s most lucrative market, accounting for 2.7M vehicle sales in FY 2020. In FY 2021, vehicle sales in North America dropped by 14.74% to just 2.31M. Toyota’s Asia (excluding Japan) market experienced the largest contraction out of it its largest markets with a 23.63% drop in FY 2021 to just 1.22M vehicles sold compared to 1.6M in FY 2020.
Toyota’s revenue across its sales regions differed greatly due to the varying conditions of the pandemic around the globe. Its home market of Japan was Toyota’s largest source of revenue in FY 2021 with almost ¥15T or almost $137B. Its North American market generated the second-highest revenue from its sales regions with ¥9.49T or around $87 in FY 2021.
Rex Pascual, editor at TradingPlatforms, commented: “Toyota’s production downturn in FY 2021 is in line with industry trends, as the pandemic stifled demand significantly across the board. But Toyota’s status as one of Japan’s most iconic brands ensures a bright post-pandemic future for the car manufacturer. Its emergence as market leaders in hybrid electric vehicles as well as hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles shows the historic brand’s willingness to adapt to more modern trends.”
Telecommunications Staff To Embark On 3 Days Warning Strike
Data and call services may face disruption from Wednesday as the Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria on Monday insisted on a three-day warning strike.
The General Secretary of the association, Okonu Abdullahi, told the media in an interview on Monday that its members were embarking on the strike to protest the arbitrary sack of workers and casualization.
He said subcontracting or outsourcing which had bedeviled the industry could no longer be allowed to continue as it had shortchanged workers.
He said, “As we speak, all indications are that we should be going on a three-day warning of industrial action on Wednesday, 16th June 2021, as none of our demands have been met.
“We have tried speaking to the telecommunications companies at different times, but we met with a brick wall.”
The union had in a statement issued on Sunday said that it would mobilise its members for a three-day warning industrial action beginning midnight on Tuesday (today).
PTECSSAN in the statement had alleged breach of freedom of association, right of workers to organise, victimization of union members, poor and discriminatory remuneration, abuse of expatriate quota, intimidation, harassment, and verbal assaults of employees among other anti-labor practices.
Justifying the strike threat, human rights activist and legal practitioner, Ayo Ademiluyi, said, “This would be the first nationwide strike of the only union in the telecommunications industry.
“The industry is performing on the back of pains and anguish of many telecoms workers. Most of the workers are contract staff. The big telecom companies put their workers on temporary pay. Casualisation in the industry must stop.
“Less than five percent of the telecoms workers are permanent workers in the industry. The big telcos don’t have permanent staff; they only have managerial staff who are being laid off on the excuse of COVID-19.”
He said that most big telcos did not allow trade unionism, adding that there were many cases in the industrial court seeking to enforce workers’ rights to collective bargaining as enshrined in International Labour Conventions.
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