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Nigeria’s Auto Industry to Import Less than 10,000 Vehicles in 2017, Says Ade-Ojo

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  • Nigeria’s Auto Industry to Import Less than 10,000 Vehicles in 2017

Nigeria’s Auto Industry is expected to import and sell between 8,000 and 10,000 new vehicles this year, which is lower than the 15,000 projected at the end of last year.

The Managing Director, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kunle Ade-Ojo gave this figure as their forecast for the Nigerian automobile industry in 2017, at the company’s quarterly briefing in Lagos, yesterday.

The forecast, Ade-Ojo said was based on the industry’s performance in the first quarter of 2017, adding that at the end of the first quarter of 2017, total import figures in the nation’s automobile industry, from the nation’s ports, came to about 350 units compared to about 3,500 units that came in at the same time last year.

He said with this statistics, “imports dropped by about 90% between 2016 and 2017 Q1. In terms of retail sales we are estimating, based on the information we have, that the auto market did about 2000 vehicles compared to about 5000 vehicles that was done in Q1 of 2015, bringing a drop of over 50% when you look in terms of retail sales.”

Among the retail sales, he said “Toyota has a share of about 22-23% of Q1 sales, generally. Forex continues to be a major challenge, interest rates have gone up.”

He explained that as Dollar is scarce, so also Naira is pretty much scarce and that bank’s interest rates have gone up. “Even though the exchange rate has moderated from a high of about 520 to the Dollar and trading at about N400 to the Dollar, it is still not available.”

Giving the figures for 2016, Kunle said, “In terms of sales, retail sales went from about 32,000 in 2015 to about 18,000 last year. So, the market dropped about 42%.”

He said Toyota Nigeria Limited “went down from about 8,000 in 2015 to slightly over 4,000 in 2016. So, we had a drop of about 35%.”

Regardless of this, he said, “We grew our share from 24% in 2015 to about 26% in 2016.”

Reviewing imports in the same period, he said, “Imports dropped about 60% from about 18,000 in 2015 to just close to 7,000 in 2016. Of course, in terms of our share of the imports, we had about 43% in 2015 and that dropped to about 38% in 2016.”

He said this was basically as a result of different sub groupings, different manufacturers or auto distributors in the country and that “in addition to that, the scarcity of forex affected businesses last year and that cause a major reduction in importation.”

According to him, the devaluation of the Naira also affected sales last year, saying “whereas in the first half of the year the Naira was about 200 to the Dollar but that by the end of the year it had doubled. So, prices of vehicles also pretty much doubled and a lot of businesses could not afford to pay for the increase. We at TNL are struggling to survive. A lot of companies had to retrench their staff last year as a result of the tough economic situation.”

He said companies had to priortise on what they would spend their limited funds on. “Vehicles, you know are a luxury, except for the ones that are used for business, which are commercial vehicles and that is why commercial vehicles did way more last year, about 70% to 30% in terms of ratio (with passenger vehicles). Passenger cars reduced more than commercial cars and, of course, when you look at the duties on passenger cars also at 70% compared to 35% for commercial, the impact is more on passenger vehicles.”

Also, he said companies had increased the number of years that their staff used their vehicles. “Normally, it used to be four years, but now companies have taken it up to between five and six years before they will consider changing or replacing their staff vehicles.”

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.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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