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The unveiling of the all-new 2018 Kia Rio marked the exciting premiere of the new wave of sub-compact car in Nigeria. The fourth-generation Kia Rio, as Kia’s global best-seller, has been completely redesigned and re-engineered to exceed the expectations of all car enthusiasts across the globe. The new Rio has arrived in an even more compelling package with enhanced aesthetics and functionality. It has been redesigned for a more dramatic and distinctive look, boasting sleek, straight lines and sophisticated interior. The bestselling model also delivers a powerful driving experience with responsive and engaging handling.

Among the most anticipated vehicles for the 2018 model year, the all-new Kia Rio definitely stands out. Making its grand debut at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, the all-new Rio sedan is slightly bigger in size than its predecessor and is certainly sleeker with more balanced ride characteristics. Considering its enhanced technology and performance along with tremendous value, it is not surprising that the all-new Rio is already gaining widespread attention in the subcompact market.

New Look, New Attitude

The 2018 Kia Rio’s pleasing proportions mask its diminutive dimensions, avoiding the vaguely bubble-top look of many compact cars. The car has a higher ground clearance, wider and longer, the wheels have been pushed farther toward the corners, and the windshield has been made more upright. The overall effect makes the Rio the best-looking vehicle in its segment.

The inside has also been upgraded and feels very solidly built. The redesigned dash and gauge cluster looks upscale as well, so even though the Rio is a budget-priced car, it doesn’t feel cheap. The interior presents itself better than cars costing more. Additional sound insulation, a redesigned suspension, and revised steering help, too, making the new Rio feel buttoned-down and solid on the road. At speed on the freeway, the car has the sense of the weight of a larger vehicle, but when the road gets twisty, it reveals a planted sportiness. It’s a subcompact car where nothing feels flimsy or like a design afterthought. From the ground up, the 2018 Rio is a solid car that just happens to be very small.

The intelligently designed dashboard and center console, along with a windshield that has less rake, help the Rio feel surprisingly roomy on the inside. Rear-seat headroom is another surprise, as a 6-foot passenger sits upright comfortably. Rear legroom has grown 2 inches from the previous model. The front seats are comfortable, accommodating and wide enough to give most drivers plenty of breathing room. The seat feels a little lower and sportier than many subcompacts. Thanks to a lowered window line, outward visibility is excellent, while the steering wheel also has plenty of telescoping range, something taller drivers will greatly appreciate.In terms of ride and handling, the new model remains the sportiest offering in the segment.

The Rio is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.4-liter gasoline direct-injected four-cylinder engine pumping out Max. Power (ps/rpm) 100/6,000 and 123/6,300 Max. Torque (kg·m/rpm) with a six-speed automatic transmission, driving the front wheels. The Rio has adopted Kia’s current design language — overseen by ex-Audi designer Peter Schreyer — along with a brash look that is distinctive and upscale. A smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission effortlessly transfers the engine’s torque to the wheels, offers quick, smooth shifts and gear ratios matched to the engine’s torque curve. For utility, the Rio sedan offers 13.7 cubic feet of cargo room.

Style matters

With a slender tiger-nose grille, crispier lines and swept-back headlights for a more aggressive appearance, the impressive roster of styling details perfectly sum up how captivating the fourth generation Rio really is.

Slightly larger in size over the previous generation, the Rio’s new look is emphasized by the stretched thin and wide tiger nose grille. The vertical side vents and the sporty headlights at the front accentuate its stance, giving it a bolder look. The horizontal styling of the Rio further sends enchanting vibes with its roof seamlessly extending to the rear edge. To add an even sportier touch, the Rio offers an improved ergonomics.

Perfect fit for urban driving

Ideally suited to urban driving, the new Rio has become decidedly more sophisticated and athletic for driver enjoyment. The little Rio has always been compact enough for urban parking on crowded streets, and so is the redesigned Rio.

For a more engaging driving experience, the latest Rio is equipped with a  1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, improving the driving dynamics as well as fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions over the outgoing Rio. Able to deliver exceptional power and torque, the turbocharged Rio is ever-more capable of maneuvering, making a long commute or weekend road trip all the more pleasant.

Stable and safe

Rio’s solid structure makes use of advanced high-strength steel to increase durability and torsional stiffness for improved handling and ride quality as well as collision protection. And for the first time, the Rio offers optional Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), a system that detects obstacles and automatically applies the brakes to avoid accidents. Standard safety features include airbags, side-impact door beams, a four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC).

“This fourth-generation Rio makes significant improvements over its predecessor in design, technology and passenger comfort, resulting in an even better value proposition while raising the bar in the small-car segment. All in all, the 2018 all-new Rio is a most reliable driving companion, especially if you are looking for a versatile subcompact with a well-tuned combination of style, safety, and affordability,” said Debanja Paul, assistant vice president of sales, Kia Motors Nigeria.

In addition to the improved design and ergonomics, the 2018 Kia Rio is the most technically advanced version of the model ever produced with the new integration of the latest safety features and cabin technologies. Mature and sophisticated, the fourth-generation Rio has joined the stream of made in Nigeria cars by Kia and is currently available for the markets.

The Kia Rio has been setting the Nigerian market on fire recently, having outsold other models in its segment for over a decade and remains Kia’s best-selling car internationally. That means the highly sophisticated Rio carries a lot of big expectations, and the newly redesigned version made it clear how seriously our global engineers took the task of updating the all-new Kia Rio” said Olawale Jimoh, Marketing Manager, Kia Motors Nigeria.

The 1.4-liter MPI unit feels relaxed and ready to serve up plenty of go without nervous stabs at the throttle, offering confident overtaking on the highway without much drama or noise. Likewise, road and wind noise stay at a comfortable minimum thanks to tall tires on 15-inch wheels soaking up most of the broken pavement. The 2018 Kia Rio is now available in all the showrooms across the country. Customers’ first impressions were positive, and the new Rio came across as a comfortable, solidly built, and smartly designed a compact car with above-average driving dynamics for the class. The Rio, since launching in Nigeria, has impressed all with its quiet interior, solid driving dynamics and impressive use of power and performance.

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BUSINESS

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has splashed scholarships worth N2.7 million on 18 customers under its XploreFirst promo initiative to boost savings culture and promote financial inclusion among students.

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By Chinyere Joel- Nwokeoma (NAN)

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the winners were drawn from the six geopolitical zones and Lagos at the final/ grand raffle of XploreFirst promo on Friday in Lagos.

The winners emerged through an electronic draw handled by Tequila on behalf of the bank and supervised by KPMG, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lagos State Lottery Board and Consumer Protection Commission (CPC).

At the event, Mr Chuma Ezirim, FirstBank Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, said: “XploreFirst is a FirstBank savings account variant designed specifically for students between the age range of 18 to 29.’’

Ezirim said that a minimum amount of N1, 000 was required to open the account and account holders are to maintain a minimum balance of N200 to run the account.

He said that the XploreFirst promo was one of the special benefits of the account.

According to him, the 18 winners that emerged at the final draw will be offered yearly scholarships of N150,000 each.

Ezirim said that the initiative was targeted at youths, especially those in tertiary institutions and informal sector, to enhance savings culture and drive financial inclusion across the country.

“Customers are offered yearly scholarships of N150,000 as incentives to maintain a certain amount of deposit, in this case, N10,000 in their account over a 30-day period to qualify for the monthly draws and giveaways.

“Customers who  successfully maintain the set balance over the six months period are eligible to win the jackpot of N150,000, the grand finale prize,’’ he said.

Ezirim noted that the initiative would be sustained by the ban k  in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) financial inclusion mandate.

Also speaking, Mr Olufemi Odumuboni, the bank’s Head, Youth/Women Banking, said  the promo dynamics was centered at making people to engage in financial discipline.

Odumuboni said that winners were selected based on certain principles that made them eligible to qualify for the draw.

He explained that apart from the N2.7 million set aside for the yearly scholarships, the bank had splashed about N900, 000 to customers who emerged winners at the various monthly draws for data purchase for their mobile phones.

“Winners from the monthly draw selected from the bank’s six geopolitical zones are entitled to N5, 000 each which they are encouraged to use for data purchase for their mobile phones,” Odumuboni stated.

Ms Susie Onwuka of CPC, commended the bank for ensuring transparency throughout the promotion process.

Onwuka said the bank had deployed modern technology in the promo process to eliminate bias, noting that, the agency was happy with the process and the bank.

“Promotions should be registered to show transparency and ensure fairness to the consumers,” she said.

Onwuka said the regulatory body would follow up with the winners to ensure they were rewarded accordingly.

NAN reports that some of the scholarship winners included Mr Offiong Micheal, Mr Ezugba Chukwuebuka, Mr Olorunfemi Oluwatunmise, Mr Adekale Adenike and Ms Agbakwuru Dorcas.

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BUSINESS

FirstBank Hits N1 Trillion in Transactions Processed through its Firstmonie Network

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Nigeria’s premier financial services provider and Bank of first choice, First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced that its Firstmonie network has processed a cumulative transaction value of N1 trillion from its relaunch in January 2018. The network also achieved nationwide coverage in record time, enabling access to financial services for many locations that never had a way for its residents to access financial services. This is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s objective of bringing banking services close to all Nigerians, irrespective of where they live.

FirstBank’s Firstmonie service provides financial/banking solutions to rural and semi-urban locations across the country, such as account opening, cash deposit, cash withdrawals, airtime purchase, bill payments and much more. Through this channel, the Bank is committed to providing convenient services that endears trust and provides ease of access to banking products, thereby saving time and travel costs for users of our network.

According to Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the Chief Executive Officer, First Bank of Nigeria Limited; “The Firstmonie scheme is supporting the Federal Government’s empowerment and job creation agenda as over 22,000 Nigerians, through this scheme, contribute to the increased economic activities of their neighborhoods. Our partner network is growing and we are particularly delighted about the progress we are making in actively driving nationwide Financial Inclusion, exposing communities to opportunities for growth, jobs, empowerment, and improved live conditions. Yet again, we are delighted to score another first in promoting financial inclusion in the country.”

“We appreciate our partner network and remain committed to working together to achieve even greater impact on the lives of Nigerians”, he concluded

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SEC approves MTN listing on NSE

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that it has approved MTN Nigeria’s application to list on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by way of introduction.

Mrs Efe Ebelo, SEC Head, Corporate Communications, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Ebelo said the commission has approved the company’s application to be listed on the nation’s bourse by way of introduction.

She said that the company has successfully completed the registration of 20,354,513,050 ordinary shares of N0.02 each with the commission.

NAN recalls that MTN Nigeria on May 6 filed an application with SEC and the exchange for listing by introduction.

SEC recently said that it received an application from MTN requesting for registration of their existing securities.

“They have applied for listing by introduction which will enable the company to be listed and allow shareholders sell their shares on the floor of the exchange,” Ebelo said.

Mr Henry Rowlands, SEC Acting Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services, told NAN that the commission was committed to work with MTN Nigeria.

“SEC is committed to work with them, when they list by way of introduction naturally it will translate to public offering by and large.

“It’s better that they come to the market even if it’s by way of introduction because it will encourage other service providers to access the market,” Rowlands said.

Reacting to the approval, Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd commended SEC for speedy approval.

Omordion said that MTN Nigeria July target for listing would be feasible with the approval, noting that the listing might be concluded before the target date,

NAN reports that MTN Nigeria recently changed its status from a private company to a public liability company (PLC) ahead of its listing on the exchange.

NAN reports that the conversion was one of the requirements for listing on the exchange.

The company had previously announced that it looks to list on the NSE before July, saying it plans to enter the market by way of listing by introduction.

Speaking on the conversion, Fredi Moolman, MTN Chief Executive Officer, said the listing was part of its commitment to localisation in the markets in which it operates.

“Our conversion to a Plc is a major step towards listing by introduction on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in the first half of 2019.

“It is a reaffirmation of our long-term commitment to expanding investment opportunities for Nigerians, in addition to providing everyday services to them.

“We look forward to continuing our engagement with the SEC and NSE to take forward the listing process,” Moolman said.

NAN reports that listing on the NSE was one of the conditions reached in the resolution of a N330 billion fine placed on the telco by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for its inability to disconnect improperly registered SIM cards.

NAN

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