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Sanwo-Olu launches Nigeria’s first electric car, to complete Lagos-Badagry expressway

Sanwo-Olu unveiled the first Nigerian electric car named Hyundai Kona.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday, November 13, 2020, unveiled the first Nigerian electric car named Hyundai Kona.

The car, which is a product of Stallion Group, was launched at the VON Automobiles Nigeria in Ojo, Lagos State where the car was manufactured.

The new Kona, an Electric car is regarded in European motoring industry as the world’s number one, with the cost, put at about N24 million

While speaking during the unveiling of the product, Sanwo-Olu observed that VON has over 40 to 50 years of vehicle manufacturing history, when they were assembling various Volkswagen products.

The governor was full of commendation for Stallion Group for the noble initiative, just as he promised that Lagos State Government will make provisions for electricity charging points for the vehicle across the state, to make it easy for users to enjoy their Electric Vehicles (EV).

The Governor also promised the completion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which was started under the administration of former governor of the state, Babatunde Fasola, in order to facilitate business activities in the state.

Sanwo-Olu said, “Lagos-Badagry Expressway which has been expanded from 2 to 10 lanes will soon be complete, we are not rushing the road; we are building a first-class road construction project.’

The Managing Director, VON Automobiles, Mr Rohtagi Manish, while explaining the essence of the launch, pointed out that Kona will change things positively in the Nigerian auto market.

According to Manish, the changes in global temperature and weather patterns are seen today are caused by human activity. Kona, he said, is one way to respond to the global weather challenges, so as to achieve a greener environment.

This appears to be a huge boost for the promoters of more environmentally friendly automobile and subsequently promote a green environment. This will also help to drive the Federal Government’s efforts to shift focus from petrol-based automobile to vehicles with a cheaper source of energy

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TECH NEWS

Google acquires Israel-based cybersecurity startup, Siemplify for $500 million

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American multinational technology company, Google has acquired Siemplify, an Israel-based cybersecurity startup that specializes in end-to-end security services for enterprises, referred to as security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) services.

The deal reportedly at the $500 million mark is the first time the tech giant is buying an Israeli company active in the cybersecurity sector. Google’s biggest acquisition in Israel to date was the $1.1 billion deal for Waze in 2016 while in 2019 the American tech company acquired Israeli companies Elastifile for $200 million and Aluma for $100 million.

Following the acquisition, Siemplify employs 200 people in Israel, the U.S., and London, who will join Google as the tech giant will be using Siemplify to form the basis for its cybersecurity operations in Israel which will be part of the corporation’s cloud activity. Meanwhile, Siemplify’s co-founders will continue at the company.

In a statement published by the tech giant, Sunil Potti, the vice president and general manager stated that Siemplify will become a part of the Google cloud security team to help companies better manage threat response.

Similarly, Amos Stern, co-CEO of Siemplify said Google cloud is a partner that shares a similar mission, vision and culture. He said, “We are excited to join Google cloud and build on the success we have had in the market in terms of helping companies address a growing security threat.

Together with chronicle’s rich security analytics and threat intelligence, we can truly help security operations centre to defend against today’s threat.”

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Airtel Africa Plc announces sale of tower assets in Tanzania

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Telecommunications giant, Airtel Africa, has announced the sale of assets to a Tanzanian joint venture company.

The transaction was disclosed in a notice filed with the exchange, announcing the first closing of the transaction, which is to sell its telecommunications tower assets in Tanzania to a joint venture company that is owned by a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBA Communications Corporation, and Paradigm Infrastructure Limited.

The transaction has been estimated to generate $176.1 million as gross consideration, of which $159 million has been paid, with the balance payable in installments upon the completion of the transfer of the remaining towers to the joint venture company, which is regarded as the purchaser.

As part of the terms, Airtel Africa’s subsidiary in Tanzania is expected to continue developing, maintaining, and operating its equipment on the towers under separate lease arrangements, largely made in local currencies, with the joint venture company.

According to the notice, $60 million from the proceeds will be used to invest in network and sales infrastructure in Tanzania and for distribution to the Government of Tanzania, as per the settlement described in the Airtel Africa IPO Prospectus document published in June 2019, while the balance of the proceeds will be used to reduce debt at Group level.

According to the disclosure, SBA Communications Company is a leading global independent owner and operator of wireless communications infrastructure while Paradigm Infrastructure Limited, is a UK company focused on developing, owning, and operating shared passive wireless infrastructure in selected growth markets.

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IFC plans to invest $3 million in Nigerian tech startups

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The International Financial Cooperation (IFC) a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, plans to invest $3 million to help Nigerian startups through its Startup Catalyst Program, Microtraction Fund Il.

Microtraction Fund II is a $15 million seed-stage fund focused on pre-seed and seed-stage investments in tech and tech-enabled businesses in Sub Saharan Africa.

This was disclosed on the IFC Project Information & Data Portal, which is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.

MI Holdings Limited, a Cayman Islands-based exempted corporation, is the general partner. The IFC has proposed an equity investment of up to $1.5 million through the Startup Catalyst Program and $1.5 million through the IDA18 IFC-MIGAVPrivate Sector Window’s Blended Finance Facility (BFF) (IDA PSW).

The IFC has pledged not to exceed 20% of total commitments. The fund, which is domiciled in Nigeria, will invest in high-growth markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Fund will be supported by the Blended Finance Facility (BFF) of the IDA18 IFC-MIGA Private Sector Window (IDA PSW), created by the World Bank Group to catalyze private sector investment in IDA countries, with a focus on fragile and conflict-affected states.

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