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Innoson exports $4.7m made-in-Nigeria vehicles to Sierra Leone

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THE first batch of vehicles manufactured for the government of Sierra Leone by Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Ltd., IVM, has been delivered to the West African country by the Nnewi-based indigenous automaker.

The vehicles, which arrived in Freetown on November 21, 2022, were built to order by Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Defence.

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The request for the made-in-Nigeria vehicles was made during a working visit to Innoson Vehicles by the top hierarchy of the Sierra Leone Defence Ministry led by Mr. Edward Soloku, the Minister of Internal Affairs, as well as the Sierra Leone Road Transport Corporation, SLRTC, led by its President, Mr. Isaac Ken-Green.

Head of Corporate Communications, Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, said in a statement that various models of vehicles bought within that dispensation were for the present administration.

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Osigwe explained that subsequently, the government of Sierra Leone, led by President Julius Maada Bio, placed an order for the manufacturing of Innoson vehicles valued at $4.7 million for the officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces, RSLAF. The first set of vehicles supplied from Nigeria to Sierra Leone left on Monday from Queen Elizabeth 2 Port (Sierra Leone’s seaport, “Water Quay”) in Free Town for distribution to military officers across the country.

Reacting to the development, the people of Sierra Leone have been commending their president, Julius Maada Bio, for acting in line with the spirit of the continental agreement by opting for an African, IVM, brand of vehicles for the use of the country’s armed forces. In one of the many reports in the local media on the purchase of the made-in-Nigeria vehicles, a popular blog in Sierra Leone, Focus News Blog, hailed President Bio for believing that “our army officers deserve better.” The post, which showed a line-up of the IVM products from Nigeria, informed Sierra Leoneans that the vehicles would soon be “ready for distribution to military officers across the country” by the government.

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Innoson Group has penetrated the vehicle market over the years. It is currently serving as one of the few wholly African car assemblers. One of the effusive commendations for President Bio by a Sierra Leonean, Francis Ken Samu, remarked, “We are on top of the situation in times of security. Congratulations, Mr. President Bio! Keep the military colour flag flying higher than ever before in Sierra Leone’s history. God bless you, HE President Bio, for equipping the RSLAF.” This development is indeed a step towards the acceleration of intra-African trade, as facilitated by the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).

Naijablitznews.com reports that with the arrival of the Innoson vehicles in Free Town, Sierra Leone has become the first country in West Africa whose armed forces are using the IVM products outside Nigeria. Four years ago, the Nigerian Army signed a partnership agreement with the Nnewi auto plant for the supply of purpose-built vehicles for its personnel. The agreement also includes identifying requirements for the production of the armoured fighting vehicle in the Nigerian Army Central Workshop in Kaduna and enhancing the capacity of Nigerian Army personnel to actively participate in the successful implementation of these joint ventures The export of Innoson is coming two years after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the AfCFTA agreement in July, 2019.

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Elon Musk announces amnesty for all banned, suspended accounts on Twitter

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Twitter owner Elon Musk has declared a system-wide clemency for sanctioned accounts on the microblogging platform. A wide range processes to restore Twitter accounts that were suspended under the former ownership will commence next week, Mr Musk confirmed.

The decision followed an online poll.

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Multiple Twitter accounts, especially those of high profile figures in the society, were victims of what some sections of the public believed were politically motivated censorship rather than being on legal grounds under the previous ownership.

But Mr Musk, a self-proclaimed free speech advocate has embarked on a mission to overhaul Twitter since he bought the social media company last month for $44 billion.

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He had introduced a controversial $8 per month charge for subscribers to acquire the much covered blue badge weeks ago.

The decision to restore accounts that were previously shutdown is the latest change that Twitter has undergone in the past month.

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In order to make the decision, Mr Musk put the public to a poll asking if “should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?”.

At the conclusion of the poll which received more than three million votes after 24 hours, 72 per cent of the public voted in favour for the suspensions to be lifted while only 28 percent voted against the planned restoration.

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Following the public decision, the South-Africa born businessman declared on his verified Twitter account, that “amnesty begins next week” for suspended accounts except those that broke the law or egregious spam.

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Apple fined $20m for selling iPhones without chargers

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A Brazilian judge fined Apple $20 million Thursday for selling iPhones without chargers, calling it an “abusive practice” that forces customers to buy an additional product.

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The decision, which can be appealed, came after Brazil’s justice ministry slapped a separate fine of nearly $2.5 million on Apple in September over the same issue and barred the US tech giant from selling its iPhone 12 and 13 models without chargers.

The new fine, 100 million reais, was awarded by a Sao Paulo civil court judge as damages in a lawsuit filed by the Brazilian Consumers’ Association.

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Apple stopped including outlet chargers with new iPhones in October 2020, saying it wanted to help reduce electronics waste.

But the move effectively “requires consumers to purchase a second product in order for the first to work,” Judge Caramuru Afonso Francisco wrote in his ruling.

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He ordered the California company to supply chargers to all consumers in Brazil who bought iPhone models 12 or 13 in the past two years, and begin including them with all new purchases.

Apple is also facing charger-related headaches across the pond.

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Last week, the European Parliament passed a law requiring all smartphones, tablets and cameras to use USB-C ports as the single charger standard from late 2024, which will force Apple to change its phone designs. (AFP)

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Twitter introduces mixed media: Videos, images, GIFs together in one Tweet

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Social media app, Twitter has introduced a new way to share four pieces of content including videos, images, GIFs together in a single Tweet.

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This feature allows users to combine all three categories of visual content in a single tweet called “mixed media”.

According to a Twitter blogpost, “Adding “mixed” media to a Tweet is simple and straightforward. When composing a Tweet, tap the “Media” or “GIF” icons and select the content you want to share (and don’t forget to add descriptive text to make your images more accessible).

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That’s it! You can add up to four videos, images, and/or GIFs per Tweet. The update is currently available on iOS and Android, however Tweets with different content types can be consumed on all platforms.”

Helping creators express themselves

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Twitter is always looking for new and exciting ways to help creators share more and be seen.

Mixing different types of visual content together in a single Tweet allows creators to express themselves beyond 280 characters and gives them more ways to tell their story.

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A user of the new feature, @jakechams “Really loving this new tool here on Twitter.

It has opened up a whole new world of opportunity to share my work & the behind the scenes.

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Excited to see how creatives can capitalize on this feature and share more of their process moving forward. Stoked to see Twitter caring about creatives and how they can share their work through this medium.”

Another user @blackprints said, “As a professional photographer, I’m excited to use this feature to add some more interactive depth to the behind-the-scenes moments I share on Twitter.”

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Making Twitter the best place to share media
According to Twitter, “This update is the latest example of how the social app working to make Twitter the easiest and most convenient place to share images, videos, and other creative content.

It complements the rollout of two new video products — full-screen videos and a new video carousel in the Explore tab — that help make it easier than ever for people to find and watch what’s happening on Twitter.”

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Users should key their eyes on Twitter blogs for more upcoming launches or click here to start mixing up your timeline and telling stories with text, images, GIFs, and videos in a single Tweet.

@Twitter remains your official source for what’s happening

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