- Hilux, Ranger Battle for Pickup of The Year
The old rivalry between Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger for the juicy pickup market in Nigeria has come up again as both products have been nominated for the 2016 pickup of the year.
Mitsubishi L200 is another pickup shortlisted in the category, which analysts expect to be one of the mostly keenly contested segments of the annual auto award.
Toyota, Ford and Mitsubishi have through their representatives in Nigeria said on a number of occasions that the pickup is a large market, which they cannot afford to toy with.
The Nigeria Police Force, the Federal Road Safety Corps and para-military groups, state traffic agencies and other organisations (government and private) mostly use the pickups as operational/patrol vehicles.
The rivalry between Hilux and Ranger transcends Nigeria. In other markets in Europe, America and Asia, the shares of the two brands are remarkably high, going by their overall vehicle sale figures.
They have consistently remained at the top of vehicle sale charts of many countries in the pickup segment.
In Nigeria, Hilux and Ranger were nominated for pickup of the year in 2015 edition of the auto award organised in Nigeria by Naja.
While Toyota Hilux emerged the winner in 2015, the Ranger won the prize in 2014, ahead of other contenders.
Providing some of the striking features of the Hilux, Toyota Nigeria Limited says the strength of the vehicle lies in the vast volume of data Toyota has amassed in years of building reliable and rugged pickups.
Hilux range is available in two-wheel drive/4WD single and double cabins and petrol and diesel engines, it says.
The firm says, “All models feature a laser-welded high-tensile steel body and chassis that has been subjected to exhaustive CAE simulation resulting in light weight with excellent torsional rigidity for precise handling.”
The Hilux has high-integrity cabin that protects its occupants and ensures the doors function normally after a collision to facilitate escape or rescue efforts.
Its other safety features include front and rear three-point ELR seatbelts, headrests, and an energy-absorbing steering column that contributes to the driver’s protection in a frontal collision.
Ford says its new Ranger pickup offers customers’ improved fuel efficiency, a bold new design and cutting-edge technologies.
According to the automaker, the Ford Ranger remains one of the most capable and versatile trucks in its class as customers can choose from three body styles: two-door Regular Cab, Super Cab with additional rear-hinged doors accessing second-row seating, and four-door Double Cab.
The Vice-President, Marketing, Ford of Europe, Roelant de Waard, said, “With the stunning new Wildtrak at the pinnacle of the line-up, the new Ford Ranger provides customers with an unbeatable combination of four-wheel drive capability, stand-out styling and premium features like SYNC 2 connectivity.”
The L200 is considered one of the Mitsubishi’s long-time global best-sellers. Designed as an ultimate Sport Utility Truck, the manufacturer says the vehicle combines the comfortable interior of a passenger car with the functionality and reliability of a pickup.
CFAO Motors says the new L200 is built to handle all kinds of terrain, adding that it achieves high levels of safety performance through its durable and sturdy chassis and frame structures along with its impact safety body.
The all-new L200 is available in single cab and double cab variants, with a three-engine line-up.
The all-new L200 also delivers quietness and ride comfort on a par with a passenger car, thanks to a new engine, optimisation of the suspension, the strategic placement of sound insulation, absorption and vibration damping materials.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the auto event say the programme will hold in Lagos on November 24, which will feature about 25 categories drawn from the automotive industry and ancillary sectors.
Ecobank Group Appoints Jubril Mobolaji Lawal as Regional Executive and Managing Director Designate for Ecobank Nigeria
Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African banking group, announces that Jubril Mobolaji Lawal has been appointed as Regional Executive and Managing Director designate of Ecobank Nigeria, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The appointment is made ahead of Patrick Akinwuntan’s upcoming retirement, due to him reaching retirement age in January 2022.
Mobolaji Lawal joins Ecobank having been a versatile senior banking executive and digital transformation specialist for over 28 years with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. He has deep involvement and experience in digital and retail banking, corporate and commercial banking, credit risk management and corporate finance. His previous experience includes being Executive Director at GTBank Plc Nigeria, and Non-Executive Director roles at both GTBank Ghana Limited and Nigeria Interbank Settlement Systems Plc. Mobolaji led the team that envisioned and implemented GTBank Plc’s retail and digital banking strategy to achieve industry-wide leadership over a ten-year period and he introduced new products and solutions that have helped to deepen payments and access to digital financial services in Nigeria.
Mobolaji was selected and appointed as Managing Director designate following a keenly contested selection process, which included both internal and external candidates.
Mobolaji Lawal holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria; B.L. from the Nigerian Law School and a Master of Business Administration from Oxford University, United Kingdom. He has also attended several executive management and banking specific developmental programmes at leading educational institutions including Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD).
Commenting on the appointment, Ade Ayeyemi, CEO, Ecobank Group said: “We welcome Mobolaji Lawal to the Ecobank Group and we stand to benefit from the extensive experience that he has acquired in various fields across banking, which will play a major role in continuing to rebuild our franchise in Nigeria. Nigeria is a key market for us, in which we have seen significant improvement over the past three years as we reposition and leverage upon our pan-African strengths in digital products and services, payments and as the go-to-bank for businesses seeking to grasp the growth opportunities being created by the AfCFTA, across all our markets on the continent. I wish Mobolaji the best and assure him of both my support and that of the entire Ecobank Group.”
Mrs. Bola Adesola, the Chairman of the Board of Ecobank Nigeria said: “We look forward to working with Mobolaji and assure him of the full support of the Board, Management and all the staff of Ecobank Nigeria. The business in Nigeria is on the path of transformation and we are confident that Mobolaji will have significant impact in advancing our positive trajectory.”
Mobolaji Lawal will assume the position of Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, upon receiving the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria and after Patrick Akinwuntan retires.
South Africa Encourages Nigerian Businesses to Expand to the Country
In an effort to improve trade relations between Nigeria and South Africa, the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria Thamsanqa Dennis Mseleku has implored more Nigerian businesses (especially financial institutions) to expand their businesses to South Africa.
The South African representative revealed that the South African consulate was currently working on issuing Nigerian business owners (or operators) visas valid for ten years, in order to further bolster business relationship between both countries.
This was mentioned by Mseleku yesterday on ‘The Morning Show’, a programme which is monitored closely by Arise news, on which he also noted that the bilateral agreements being signed by both countries would be fully executed in the coming years.
According to Mseleku, Nigerian businesses are operating in South Africa, with the issue being raised back in 2019 when President Buhari was present in South Africa specifically talking about Access Bank and Air Peace. Mseleku stated that Access Bank has since opened up a branch in South Africa, and Air Peace is now making flights to and from South Africa.
Mseleku then said,”So, the issue is that we must encourage more businesses that want to go to South Africa from Nigeria to do so particularly in the financial sector.”
This prospective deal between both countries is promising, because the encouragement of Nigerian businesses to come into South Africa may eventually lead to more South African businesses coming into Nigeria to operate. The moves will undoubtedly boost the economies of both countries.
It may also encourage other African countries to engage in trades and have bilateral or multilateral agreements with other African countries, boosting economies across the entire continent.
Mseleku also noted that some South African countries were pulling out of Nigeria, which he cited as one of the reasons for the visit of the South African President.
He also addressed the inaccessibility of visa to business personnel, saying that the country is agreeing and would go on implementing longer term visas for them. He then mentioned the 10 years visa which the country is considering.
All Business Stakeholders Will Benefit from Stronger ESG Policies, Says GlobalData
The age-old view that addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues will make a dent in profits is a myth, says GlobalData. The leading data and analytics company notes that businesses that embrace all three elements of ESG will actually outperform their peers.
Cyrus Mewawalla, Head of Thematic Research at GlobalData, comments: “The reluctance of many CEOs to fully engage with sustainability can be attributed to the age-old view that it will hurt profits. However, GlobalData’s research suggests the opposite: CEOs that are too slow to improve their company’s approach to ESG will see an exodus of customers and a drop in profits far sooner than they ever imagined.”
GlobalData’s latest thematic report, ‘Thematic Research: ESG – Top Trends by Sector‘, notes that, while saving the planet used to just equate to implementing sustainable practices such as ‘limiting the use of plastics’ and ‘reducing carbon footprint’, ‘sustainability’ has morphed into an umbrella term that includes all aspects of ESG issues. The company proposes an ESG framework that identifies key areas in which companies should invest. One of these is climate change.
Luke Gowland, Analyst in the Thematic team at GlobalData, comments: “With COP26 setting the agenda on climate change, companies are focusing their efforts on tackling carbon emissions by switching to renewable energy and undertaking energy efficiency projets. However, companies must excel across all three aspects of ESG, and not overlook the importance of strong social performance and having the correct governance structures in place to achieve ESG goals.”
Citizens, governments, regulators, and the media are turning the spotlight on corporations and demanding action. Social inequality, corruption, tax avoidance, and a lack of action on climate change are all issues that companies must now address head-on, in full public view.
Since Q1 2021,GlobalData has been asking respondents to detail their company’s approach to ESG goals In Thematic Sentiment Analysis, Q3 2021, conducted in Q3 2021, nearly a quarter of respondents thought that, for most companies, ESG was just a marketing exercise.
Gowland continues: “Our latest sentiment analysis report shows that more companies have changed their behavior to meet ESG goals (33%) than not (22%). While the attitudes towards ESG are improving, there is a long way to go.”
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