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New Vehicle Sale Drops to 6,000 Units Annually

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  • New Vehicle Sale Drops to 6,000 Units Annually

The sale of new vehicles in Nigeria has recorded a 60 per cent decline this year, the Managing Director, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo, has said.

He specifically said the figure dropped to 6,000 units this year from 15,000 units sold by all dealers of new vehicles in different parts of the country last year.

Ade-Ojo spoke with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, while giving a review of the year’s performance in the auto industry and a projection into the activities of next year.

This is coming after the Director-General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, Mr. Aminu Jalal, said the demand for new and used vehicles had dropped from 400,000 annually to 250,000 units, attributing the situation to the harsh operating environment affecting every sector of the economy.

Ade-Ojo also said factors such as shortage of foreign exchange and buyers’ low purchasing power due to the economic recession were responsible for the decline in the vehicle sales this year.

He added that the imposition of 70 per cent tariff on imported vehicles as stipulated by the auto policy led to the increase in the prices of new vehicles, thus making individuals and companies to either cut down on their number of vehicle purchases or shun them completely.

He said, “Between January and now, vehicles’ prices have doubled because of foreign exchange scarcity. Some of us incurred losses having had to go to the black market to source for forex.

“Government is still the biggest spender; and when it is cash-strapped, this will affect business in the country generally.”

Ade-Ojo, who said some companies had to sack or suspend their workers due to the harsh business environment, stressed that many auto firms could be forced to shut down next year if the Federal Government failed to take measures that would significantly improve the economic situation.

He also said the recent funds made available by the government to manufacturers to ease the forex problem was grossly inadequate, adding that it was just about 10 per cent of what was needed.

He said Toyota Nigeria had cut down on its spending on marketing and other non-essential issues to save costs just as he hinted that the firm would focus on after-sale service next year.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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PwC to Add 100,000 Jobs in $12 Billion Strategic Revamp

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Price Waterhouse Coopers - Investors King

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP is investing $12 billion across its global business in an overhaul targeting better audits, digitization of services and greener operations.

The professional-services provider will hire 100,000 employees and develop the skills of existing staff over the next five years as it seeks to respond to the post-pandemic operating environment, it said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

“We will continue to evolve our ways of working, and expand our capabilities in the areas that matter most for the future, while remaining steadfast in our commitment to quality,” PwC Chairman Bob Moritz said. “We want our people to be the most sought after in the market.”

Auditors are grappling with managing quality amid a shift in ways of working introduced by the Covid-19 pandemic. The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board has revised standards for auditors, coming into effect in 2022, to boost technology use, help manage new risks, and improve quality management.

PwC is also seeking ways to address growing calls for transparency in the profession from stakeholders after several accounting scandals among the Big Four auditing firms knocked public trust. In South Africa, for example, KPMG has put in place a variety of reforms after it came under fire in 2017 for work done for a politically connected family accused of plundering the government’s coffers.

The South African unit of PwC will add at least 2,500 new employees over the next five years, Chief Executive Officer in the region Dion Shango told reporters in a conference call. Across Africa, where it has a presence in 34 countries, the firm plans to bulk up its operations with a $400 million investment. The company is also interviewing for non-executive directors to strengthen audit oversight.

PwC has also set aside $3 billion of its total global investment to help double the scale of its Asia-Pacific operations, it said. The firm’s spending will also focus on responding to environmental, social and governance trends across its operations.

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African Development Bank Group Appoints Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development

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African Development Bank - Investors King

The African Development Bank Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, effective 1st July 2021.

Dr. Dunford, a national of the United States of America, brings extensive experience to this role. She has held senior level leadership positions in the US government, where she managed large and complex programs, working with the private sector, civil society, and multilateral and bilateral institutions, as well as with African governments, to deliver agricultural, social and human development impact at scale.

Prior to her appointment, Dunford worked as the Assistant to the Administrator in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, as well as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. In this dual role, she coordinated Feed the Future across multiple U.S. government agencies, oversaw a $1 billion annual budget and leveraged millions of direct private sector investment annually. In this capacity, she also coordinated a $2.3 billion Feed the Future presidential initiative across 11 U.S. government agencies and forged partnerships within the private sector and civil society targeted at reducing hunger and poverty. She also led USAID’s technical and regional expertise focused on improving agriculture-led growth, resilience, nutrition and water security, sanitation and hygiene.

A career member of the senior foreign service at USAID, Dunford previously served as Director of USAID’s Mission in Nepal, leading the U.S. government’s health, education, agriculture and environment programs as well as its contribution to Nepal’s massive earthquake recovery and reconstruction effort. She also worked in Afghanistan as Agriculture and Alternative Livelihoods Program Director, USAID/Afghanistan, where she directed agriculture, resilience and emergency food assistance programs.

Dunford has also served in Ethiopia as Director, Office of Assets and Livelihoods, USAID/Ethiopia, where she led government officials, scholars, donors and NGOs, to craft the program, now a model used worldwide to map how emergency and development operations can collaborate to build communities’ resilience to recurrent crises.Dunford also held a number of roles in Washington, including Deputy Assistant to the Administrator in the Bureau for Food Security and Senior Development Advisor to the Secretary of State’s Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Dr. Dunford also worked as Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the Chief Operating Officer and as Regional Development Advisor, East Africa, USAID/Washington.

Commenting on her appointment, Dunford said: “I am excited to join the African Development Bank Group and be part of the senior management team. I am passionate about the Bank’s development agenda that has attracted global attention as bold and innovative for accelerating Africa’s development. I am honored to be part of the team to further achieve social and economic transformation on the continent”.

President of the African Development Bank, Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina said, “I am delighted to appoint Dr. Beth Dunford as Vice President to lead the Bank’s work on Agriculture, Human and Social Development. Beth is a strategic and effective leader with deep knowledge and impressive track record in designing and delivering highly impactful large-scale programs that have helped in lifting 27 million people out of poverty in 36 countries. With over 20 years experience working and delivering programs globally with a focus in Africa, she brings hands-on leadership and drive that will further accelerate our work to deliver greater development impacts”.

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Europe Raises 20 Unicorns This Year Including Crypto Companies

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Unicorn- Investors Kings

This year alone, 23 companies in Europe and Israel have become unicorns (startup companies valued at over $1 billion), beating last year’s total of eight, according to a report by financial data and software firm Pitchbook.

European startups have managed to attract a staggering €32.5 billion (around $39.3 billion) since the beginning of 2021. This year’s capital inflow could easily surpass the €37.6 billion raised in the whole of 2020.

Of the total, 20 companies are based in Europe, including several crypto startups. The U.K. accounts for most of these unicorns, with London-headquartered Blockchain.com currently valued at $5.2 billion after securing $420 million in two funding rounds earlier this year.

Germany is next with digital wealth manager Scalable Capital, valued last week at $1.4 billion after raising over $180 million in a round led by Chinese tech giant Tencent. French crypto security startup Ledger became the latest to join the bunch with $380 million in new funding last week.

The Old Continent is now home to almost 12% of the world’s unicorns with over 50 active companies, the published data revealed. The capital attracted by these entities has continuously grown over the past five years and the 2021 total is expected to reach a record high.

The term unicorn, used to describe startups valued at over $1 billion, was coined by venture capitalist and angel investor Aileen Lee in 2013. It alludes to the rarity of such successful ventures.

European decacorns, or companies worth over $10 billion, have also performed quite well this year. Swedish fintech startup Klarna, for example, was valued at $31 billion in March, becoming the continent’s most valuable VC-backed firm. Klarna was leading the board already in September 2020, at $15 billion, but was replaced by Checkout.com in January of this year, when the online payments company gained a $15 billion valuation, Pitchbook detailed.

According to the authors of the report, the growing participation of U.S. investors has been a major factor in the investment increase in Europe. Almost half of the unicorns’ top 10 backers, such as Accel and Insight Partners, are based across the pond. Pitchbook also emphasized:

U.S. firms have been actively targeting Europe’s tech startups, which tend to have lower valuations than their U.S. counterparts, offering more opportunities for higher growth rates.

The financial data firm believes that the effects of robust investment into unicorns based in Europe could create even larger valuations in the future. “We expect transatlantic capital flows to continue to increase and strengthen valuations in Europe, as cash-rich U.S. investors seek new companies showing the strong potential that could be introduced to the U.S. market,” said Nalin Patel, a private capital analyst at Pitchbook.

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