By Tomisin Erogbogbo
Lagos, Jan. 31, 2019 (NNN) A 34-year-old saleswoman, Ogechi Agbazu, who allegedly stole her employer’s N1 million worth of ladies’ bags and shoes, has appeared before a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos.
Agbazu, who resides at 33, Adeyemi St., Agric Bus Stop, Ikorodu, Lagos, is facing a charge of theft.
She, however, denied committing the offence.
The Prosecutor, ASP Fidelis Dike, told the court that the accused committed the offence on Jan. 22, at Shop 3/5, Gbajumo St. on Lagos Island.
Dike said that the accused’s employer, Mrs Nancy Idemudia, put her in charge of goods and safe-keeping of money realised from sales.
“This was when she traveled out of Lagos in December 2018, after taking stock of goods in the shop,” the prosecutor said.
He said when Idemudia came back in January and took stock of the goods and proceeds from sales, she discovered that N1 million worth of goods were missing.
“The accused claimed she sold the goods on credit but when she was asked to produce the names and numbers of her debtors, the names and numbers she gave were fake,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NNN) reports that stealing from one’s employer contravenes Section 287 (7) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, and attracts seven years’ imprisonment.
The Magistrate, Mr T. A. Anjorin-Ajose, granted the accused N300,000 bail with two sureties in like sum.
He ordered that one of the sureties must be a relative of the accused and the other, a civil servant.
He adjourned the case until Feb. 20, for mention. (NNN)
Edited by Olabisi Akinbode/Ijeoma Popoola
UK new car sales collapse in May as lockdown continues to impact market
New car registration in Britain plunged by 89 percent in May compared with the same month a year earlier, as the coronavirus lockdown restrictions continued to impact the market, according to a report released Thursday.
Some 20,247 cars were registered in May, even though “click and collect” services were introduced from mid-month in a bid to inject some momentum into the market, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) in the report.
Data showed that apart from battery electric vehicles, all segments and fuel types saw severe declines, with the sales of diesel and petrol vehicles in the month plummeting by 93 percent and 90.5 percent respectively over the same month last year.
The figures came as car showrooms in England have been allowed to re-open since the beginning of June following more than two months of shutdown. Car showrooms remain closed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland until next week.
“After a second month of shutdown and the inevitable yet devastating impact on the market, this week’s re-opening of dealerships is a pivotal moment for the entire industry and the thousands of people whose jobs depend on it,” said Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.
“Customers keen to trade up into the latest, cutting-edge new cars are now able to return to showrooms and early reports suggest there is good business given the circumstances, although it is far too early to tell how demand will pan out over the coming weeks and months,” said Hawes.
Hawes added that restarting the market is a crucial “first step” in driving the recovery of the country’s critical car manufacturers and supply chain, and supporting the wider economy.
“Ensuring people have the confidence to invest in the latest vehicles will not only help them get on the move safely, but these new models will also help address some of the environmental challenges the UK faces in the long term,” he said.
Sales representative in court over alleged criminal breach of trust, cheating
A 36-year-old sales representative, Sunday Peter, on Thursday appeared in a Magistrates’ Court in Kafanchan, Kaduna State over alleged misappropriation of N294, 140.
The police charged Peter with criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and cheating, contrary to sections 296, 293 and 306 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law.
She alleged that the defendant converted the N214, 140 to his personal use and all efforts made to retrieve the money failed.
When the charges were read to him, he pleaded not guilty.
Bawa adjourned the matter until June 9 for hearing.
UK car sales almost 90% below normal in May – SMMT
British car sales edged up in May after falling to their lowest since 1946 in April but still remained almost 90 per cent below their level a year earlier as coronavirus restrictions limited sales.
Preliminary figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) on Thursday showed that around 20,000 new cars were registered last month, up from just 4,321 in April but just a fraction of the 183,724 sold in May 2019.
Thursday’s data fit with other figures showing that the sharpest decline in British economic activity occurred in April, just after the lockdown came into force.
Since then, some rules have been relaxed and other businesses have been able to find ways to comply with them and restart operations.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
Zoom’s customers and sales rise as pandemic changes working life
Video conferencing app Zoom doubled its sales forecast for the year and posted considerable gains in total revenue and customers, it said in a quarterly report on Tuesday.
The global disruption to working life reshaped the company from a corporate tool to a digital hangout space.
The company did not disclose active user numbers.
This was in keeping with its previous practices, CNBC reported.
Zoom said it now has more than 265,000 corporate customers with more than ten employees – an increase of 354 per cent compared to the same time last year.
Some 769 customers – twice as many as a year earlier – spent more than 100,000 dollars a year on Zoom’s services.
Total revenue nearly tripled for the quarter to reach 328.2 million dollars compared to 122 million a year earlier.
The huge spike made the company raise its full-year sales forecast to between 1.78 billion to 1.8 billion from 915.0 million.
But it has not been all smooth sailing, with the tech company facing bans from governments and corporations due to privacy and security concerns.
In the wake of the criticism, Zoom invested heavily in cloud and security software, increasing the company’s cost of revenue by 330 per cent to 103.7 million.
Edited by Emmanuel Yashim
Indian 2-wheeler sales decline by 70-83 pct in May as COVID-19 bites
Mirroring the performance in the four-wheeler auto space, Indian two-wheeler companies too replicated a similar performance reporting 70-83 percent decline in the May month sales from the same month a year ago.
During the month under review, Bajaj Auto, TVS Motors and Hero MotoCorp reported 70 percent, 82 percent and 83 percent decline to 127,128 units, 41,067 units and 112,682 units, respectively from the same month last year, as per updates filed with the Bombay Stock Exchange.
In the preceding month of April, all two-wheeler companies in India had reported nil sales with a few units of exports during the initial period of nation-wide lockdown due to COVID-19.
India, which now ranks seventh among all countries in terms of number of confirmed cases, has 97,581 active cases and 5,598 deaths reported so far as per the official update on Tuesday.
“The automobile industry volumes are impacted for the period due to low demand sentiment, increased prices on account of BS VI and worsened by the recent COVID-19 outbreak. However, pickup in demand is expected from second half of 2020-21 ((Apr-Mar) considering the improvement in rural demand scenario, better monsoons and government’s thrust on the revival of the overall economy,” said Naveen Dubey, auto analyst with Narnolia Financial Advisors, a domestic stock brokerage house.
Going ahead, margins are expected to remain on the lower side due to higher BS-VI cost and weaker operating leverage despite reduction in commodity prices, Dubey said.
In 2019-20 (Apr-Mar), Indian two-wheeler industry reported sales of 17.4 million units, down 17.8 percent over the previous year, according to industry body SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers).
French automakers’ sales halve in May due to coronavirus lockdown
In May, new car sales declined by 50.34 percent to 96,310 units, compared with the same period in 2019, the Committee of French Automobile Manufacturers (CCFA) said in a monthly report.
Sales of French brands tumbled by 53.62 percent during the period. The country’s leading auto maker PSA, which makes the Peugeot and Citroen brands, offered 28,552 units, down by 56.07 percent compared to last year’s performance.
Renault reported the same negative trend. It saw sales declining by 50.39 percent, with that of low-cost brand of Dacia reporting a 51.15-percent loss.
France entered a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of novel coronavirus on March 17. Under the confinement, all non-essential businesses have been closed, triggering the country’s worst post-war economic crisis and forcing companies to ask the state’s help to avoid massive lay-offs and bankruptcy.
On May 26, French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled an eight-billion-euro (8.89-billion-United States dollar) rescue plan to help the recovery of the domestic auto industry. (1 euro = 1.11 United States dollars)
Indian auto companies May sales cowed down by COVID-19
Following a blank slate with nil sales in April, Indian auto companies continued to report slump in monthly sales in May.
The country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki reported 86.2 percent decline in total sales at 18,539 units in May compared to 1,34,641 units in the same month last year.
Another Indian auto manufacturer, Mahindra too reported a 79 percent decline in total sales to 9,560 units compared to 45,421 units in the same month last year.
“Our performance during May has been muted, due to the challenges the industry is facing. We have opened 70 percent of our dealerships and retail sales have begun,” said Veejay Nakra, Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra.
Both Maruti and Mahindra reported export sales of 4,651 and 484 units respectively during the month under review, down 48 percent and 80 percent respectively.
India’s auto vehicle exports are mainly directed towards Asia, Africa and Latin America, with two-wheelers, passenger vehicles and three-wheelers accounting for bulk of the volumes, with high growth in the past two-three years and but are now showing symptoms of a down-turn due to COVID-19.
“We expect demand for vehicles in these export markets to fall substantially in 2020. As per IMF (International Monetary Fund), many of these export countries are likely to witness GDP decline in 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19. The impact may be higher in case of oil-exporting nations such as Nigeria, due to fall in oil price. Depreciation of currencies of these export markets may end up inflating prices of imported vehicles,” said Joseph George, auto analyst with India Infoline, a domestic stock brokerage house.
Around 55-60 percent of the auto-dealers have reopened their showroom after relaxation, but the retail sales are merely 10-12 percent of the normal level. Walk-ins and enquires are low, people are cautious and deferring their discretionary purchases, said Abhishek Jain, Dolat Capital, another domestic brokerage in his report on the sentiment prevailing with the domestic auto-dealers
Indian automotive industry employs 37 million people and contributes to 15 percent of indirect tax in the form of Goods and Service Tax of close to 20 billion United States dollars.
However, the sector is already facing unprecedented challenge after sales growth declined by 18 percent last year and could see between 22-35 percent decline in various auto segment this year, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
Botswana to lift alcohol sales ban
Botswana has announced intentions to allow alcohol sales after a two months ban, as part of efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Addressing the nation through the national broadcaster Botswana Television on Saturday evening, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said his administration intends to lift the alcohol ban.
“As part of opening up our economy government has decided though in a controlled manner, for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages,” said Masisi.
Peggy Serame, the minister of trade and industry, is expected to share details on the proposed opening on Sunday.
Masisi however pleaded with the nation to drink responsible, adding that his administration will not hesitate to respond on seeing any signs and evidence of none compliance and threat of transmission.
Masisi reiterated that his government continues to do its best to safeguard the health of this nation whilst ensuring that our economy is able to survive following the deleterious effects of the pandemic.
He however warned that efforts to fight the respiratory disease will dent government coffers.
“It must be appreciated therefore, that our on-going efforts to safeguard the future of Botswana in the face of this pandemic will be costly and require that hard choices be made to prioritize the limited resources at our disposal,” Masisi said.
Kebbi commences sales of subsidised livestock feeds
The Kebbi Government on Friday flagged-off the sales of livestock feeds at subsidised rate to farmers across the state.
Speaking at the flagg-off ceremony held at Bagudo, the wife of the State Governor, Hajiya A’isha Atiku-Bagudu, said the gesture was aimed at boosting livestock farming in the state.
She called on members of the Sales Committee, to ensure that the feeds were sold to the farmers at subsided rates as specified.
She said: ”Let me appreciate the commitment of His Excellency, Sen. Abubakar Atiku- Bagudu for supporting all categories of farmers in the state.
“I therefore urge the beneficiaries to ensure that they collect receipts while purchasing the items.
“I also want to assure the Fulani community of the issuance of the applied loan facility, to improve their businesses”.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that items donated included; rice, wheat offal, clothes and groundnuts oil.
Earlier, the Commissioner, Animal Health Husbandry and Fisheries, Aminu Garba-Dandiga commended Gov. Atiku-Bagudu and his wife, Hajiya A’isha, for their commitment in encouraging livestock farming across the state.
He observed that the state was endowed with all farming potentials, particularly livestock, which needed to be properly harnessed to boost the revenue base of the state.
The Commissioner stressed the need for residents to take advantage of such potentials, by judiciously utilising it with a view to reducing over-reliance on proceeds from oil revenue.
“I want to assure you that livestock is another source of income we can rely on, as it produces milk and meat for people’s consumption.
“The items procured by the State Government will be sold at subsidised prices as follows: wheat offal will go for N3,000, cotton seed cake will be sold at N3,300, 10 kilogramme salt lick costs N4,360 and 5 kilologramme will be N1,680.
“I therefore call on the beneficiaries to utilise the programme in a proper way and I assure you that the programme will be continued,” he assured.
NAN reports that the occasion was attended by the Permanant Secretaries Ministries of Animal Health Husbandry and Fisheries; Education and Women Affairs.
Others in attendance were members of the State and Federal legislature, Chairman, Bagudo Local Government, and the State and National Chairmen of Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, among others.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
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