CFAO CICA Nigeria Limited, foremost distributors of Great Wall range of vehicles, has unveiled two new models into the market, the HAVAL H5 SUV and the upgraded Wingle Pick-up. The exciting vehicles are already becoming the toasts of many patrons of ‘budget cars’ as they are being showcased at the CFAO CICA showrooms nationwide.
Mastering urban fashion trend, enjoying dynamic passion life, HAVAL H5 is a new developed city SUV based on the mature HAVAL SUV platform. The exterior design is smart and the sharp headlights remind us of the Mazda XC7. The HAVAL H5 adopts a design of streamline and muscular appearance with exquisite beauty of curves. The radiator grille gels well with the lower air dam and on the lower part of the bumper are round fog lamps. From the side the SUV looks great with a high waist line and the oversized wheel arches which cover the big 17inch rims. The hood flows seamlessly into the waistline while the prominent contour line under the door handle extends from the front wheel arches to the rear of the vehicle.
Encompassed with high reliability, high security, low fuel consumption and high emission standard, everything looks well put together and the HAVAL H5’s strong proportions disguise its origins.
Equipped with a Mitsubishi sourced 2.4-litre petrol engine which develops 200/2500-3000 Nm/rpm of torque, Internationally the SUV is available with a five speed manual transmission. There is also a low range gearbox which proves useful for off road use.
Commercial Manager, CFAO CICA Nigeria, Mr. Idris Siyaka, described the HAVAL H5 as Great Wall’s “icing on the cake,” saying “It is trendy and would definitely change people’s perception of SUV’s in Nigeria.”
According to Siyaka, “Take it off road, and you will be surprised at the kind of beating that the Haval can take. Although we won’t recommend a jungle expedition in this car yet, we expect that the H5 will competently tackle the demands of construction sites, mines, and estates. There is a prevailing sense of ruggedness coming from its chassis, and the amazing pliancy of its suspension makes it extremely suitable to be used as a workhorse that you can punish without remorse.”
On the Upgraded Wingle Pick-up, Siyaka disclosed that Great Wall has raised the quality of its vehicles to highest standard in their segments with array of quality materials. “Great Wall wants to be recognised as a premium brand, hence it has improved in quality with the brand Philosophy of Focus, Dedication and Specialization.”
Drivers with high taste for details are also expected to fall in love with the Wingle admirable interior materials as well as intuitive controls and extensive number of standard and optional features that distinguishes the new pickup.
The overall impression is of a rugged and potentially long-lasting vehicle that should look after daily transportation and leisure needs of family and fleet users for years to come.
The Naked Road
Dr Terry Mene is the World Bank Project Consultant with the Federal Road Safety Corps. An astute man that usually says it as it is, he once made a statement that caught at the very essence of my being during a discussion on the state of Nigerian roads. According to him, “Our roads are naked”. Never one to be outdone on astuteness, the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Osita Chidoka, embellished it this way: “No one builds a house and moves in without furnishing. A road is not a road without the appropriate furniture”. Those two statements set the pace for my piece this week.
The second pillar of the UN Decade of Action spells out the need to improve the safety of road networks for the benefit of all road users, especially the most vulnerable: pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Despite the current efforts of Nigerian government, What do you think of road signage on Nigerian roads? Inadequate? Bastardized by hawkers, villagers? Do you know that a good number of Nigerians who drive are ignorant of road signs? What do you think about transportation safety generally? Well, reflect on America ’s assessment of safety and transportation in Nigeria - safety of public transportation; poor urban road conditions/maintenance; poor rural road conditions/maintenance: poor availability of roadside assistance; poor roads are generally poor condition, causing damage to vehicles and contributing to hazardous traffic conditions. There are few traffic conditions. There are few traffic lights or stop signs (bold/italics sentence not comprehensible. Remove??)
It is against this backdrop and the need to buy into the Corps’ strategies for safer roads that this piece will focus on road signage. It is common for us to lament over the state of our roads and the inadequacy of road furniture. Strictly speaking, how many of us truly comply with the ‘inadequate’ signs that we have? As a christian, the bible says that he that is faithful in little will be faithful in much. What moral justification do we have to complain about inadequate signs when we rarely obey the ‘scant’ ones we have? What do you think of road signage on Nigerian roads? Inadequate? Bastardized by hawkers, villagers? Do you know that a good number of Nigerians who drive are ignorant of road signs? What do you think about transportation safety generally?
A brief history of emergency road signs will be helpful in appreciating its importance. The earlist road signs were milestones, giving distance or directions. For example, the Romans erected stone columns throughout their empire, giving the distance to Rome . In the middle ages, multi-directional signs at intersections became common, giving directions to cities and towns.
Traffic signs became more important with the development of automobiles. The basic patterns of most traffic signs were set at the 1908 International Road Congress in Rome . Since then, there has been considerable change. Today, they are almost all metal rather than wood and are coated with reflective sheeting of various types of nighttime and low light visibility. Road marking was introduced into the United Kingdom in the 1920’s. The United Nations harmonized and introduced international traffic signs after the second world war. That is why from south Africa in Africa to London in Europe, including the United States of America , their signs all look alike.
In 1995, the United Kingdom had 2, 500, 000 signs and signals, 850, 000 road markings and 700, 000 road studs within roads in England alone. In Nigeria , adequate records of signs are yet to be derived but available records of clustered billboards, which have little possible effect on highways safety, are about 50, 000 from 109 registered outdoor advertising companies.
Road signs are highway pictures provided to assist pedestrians and road users in the safe usage of the highway. They are basically placed at the roadside to impart information to road users on traffic regulations, special hazards and other road conditions. You should not only be familiar with the individual signs, you should recognize the special shapes and colours because the signs are classified and coded according to functions and retro-reflectivity. What then is retro-reflectivity? It is the return of light incident to the source in the direction it came. Retro-reflectivity is the basic quality requirement of highway appurtenances. Retro-reflectivity increases road safety. If some minimum reflectivity is not maintained, the signs, delinators or markings will not accomplish the job it was intended to perform. Our signs, according to FERMA publications, are yet to be of international standard. Except for roads in some parts of Abuja and Lagos, our highways are yearning for United Nations international standard signs and markings both in shape, colors and above all in retro-reflectivity.