BusinessDay

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US announces no-interview visa renewals for Nigerian students

Through a public statement made available on its website on Thursday, April 21, 2022, the United States Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria has announced that there will be no-interview visa renewals for Nigerian students seeking to continue their studies in the US.

This statement reads thus: “If you are currently studying in the United States, you may be eligible to renew your student visa without an interview when you return to Nigeria this summer.”

“To qualify for this procedure, you must be physically in Nigeria renewing a student visa that is still valid or has expired within the past 24 months and are renewing your visa either to: (a) continue participation in the same major course of study even if at a different institution; or (b) attend the same institution even if in a different major course of study.”

The consulate advised residents in Abuja to follow the instructions below if applying from the Abuja office. They were advised to visit “www.ustraveldocs.com/ng and follow instructions to complete your application and visit a designated DHL facility to drop off your application.” The documents listed are available on the embassy website for guidance.

Lagos applicants, on the other hand, were advised to visit www.ustraveldocs.com/ng and follow the instructions to make an interview waiver appointment for a student visa. You must come in person to the U.S. Consulate on the date and time of your appointment. ”

The consulate advised those seeking a renewal but who do not meet the requirements listed to schedule a regular appointment.

“Applicants who do not meet these criteria should visit www.ustraveldocs.com/ng to schedule a regular appointment.

“If someone in your family or group does not meet the qualifications above, they must schedule a regular appointment. Each applicant must meet the qualifications individually. ” It states

More information can be found on the embassy website at https://ng.usembassy.gov/no-interview-student-visa-renewals-available-now/.

 

Stock market update: Berger Paints, Eterna, others drive market’s N45bn gain

Nigeria’s equities market furthered its gain on Thursday, April 21 as investors continued to select across board stocks to invest in.

The market recorded its second gain this week, rising by N45billion or 0.18 percent as investors bought shares of Berger Paints Plc, Eterna Plc, Oando Plc, Meyer Plc, and Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc.

Berger Paints led the gainers league after its share price moved up from N7 to N7.70, up by 70kobo or 10percent, while Eterna increased from N5.50 to N6.05, adding 55kobo or 10percent in the process.

Also, Oando rallied from N4.85 to N5.33, adding 48kobo or 9.90percent, followed by Meyer which increased from N1.93 to N2.12, up 19kobo or 9.84 percent, and Skyway Aviation Handling Company which rose from day open low of N5.80 to N6.37, up by 57kobo or 9.83 percent.

The market’s positive return year-to-date (YtD) increased to 12.89 percent at the close of the trading session.

At the close of the trading session on Thursday, April 21, the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) All Share Index (ASI) and market capitalisation rose further from the preceding day’s lows of 48,138.71 points and N25.952trillion respectively to 48,223.86 points and N25.997trillion.

An achievement that reflects a return of domestic buying pressure on the domestic bourse.

In 4,859 deals, investors exchanged 244,694,160 shares valued at N3.151billion. Custodian Investment, Oando, Fidelity Bank, Nigerian Breweries and Transcorp were actively traded stocks on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

Despite the gains and bullish activities witnessed on the floor of the Nigerian stock exchange, companies such as Scoa, ABCTransport, and Neimeth led the losers’ chart with losses such as 9.77 percent, 6.45 percent, and 3.55 percent obtained respectively.

Japan inflation rate highest in 3 years as food price soars

Information released by the ministry of internal affairs and communication of Japan showed that inflation hit its highest figure since March 2019.

According to ministry data, consumer prices increased by 1.2 percent year on year (YoY) in March 2022, the most since October 2018, following a 0.9 percent increase the previous month.

Since the unanticipated attack by Russia on Ukraine, food prices have been on an increase, especially that of wheat, due primarily to global shortages.

The country’s current food prices are the highest they have ever been in the last five years, according to the ministry, marking the 7th straight month of annual inflation.

The recent increases in food prices were spurred by a rise in the cost of petrol and other energy sources. Data revealed that water charges went up 16.4 percent, as against 15.3 percent in the previous month. The cost of education services went up by 1.4 percent, as against 1.2 percent in the previous month.

Meanwhile, the cost of medical care, transportation, and furniture fell by 0.4 percent, 7.6 percent, and 0.4 percent, respectively, as consumers increased their demand in response to lower prices.

Apparently, core consumer prices went up 0.8 percent compared to the same month last year, which represents “the 7th consecutive month of rises and the most since January 2020, matching forecasts but remaining well below the Bank of Japan’s 2% target,” the ministry said.

Currently, the price of a loaf of bread that can be bought in a roadside retail shop is 109.06 Japanese Yen, which, according to market analysts, is the highest it has ever gotten to.

 Read also: Japanese firm enters Nigeria’s gas business, buys 25% stake in Axxela

 

Biden arms Ukraine with new war machines as Putin widens reach

 

President Joe Biden has reassured Ukraine of U.S. assistance in the ongoing war with Russia as he finalizes plans to send $1.3 billion in additional weaponry and economic aid.

The president sees this intervention as a much-needed response to wade off Putin’s all-out attack on the eastern region of Ukraine. He even promised to seek more money from Congress if the need arose.

Bloomberg reported that the $1.3 billion needed will add to the already authorized $2.4 billion in U.S. aid for the fiscal year, much of it directed towards weaponry. A breakdown revealed that $800 million will go towards arms, including dozens of howitzers and new attack drones.

The president stated that as part of the country’s economic sanctions on Putin’s administration, Russian-flagged ships would not be allowed into U.S. ports. A measure already implemented by the European Union.

He said giving the Ukrainian government reassurances of the U.S. unequivocal support, “We’re in a critical window now where they’re going to set the stage for the next phase of this war,”

“And the United States and our allies and partners are moving as fast as possible to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need and the equipment their forces need to defend their nation.”

Biden’s latest move is a response to Putin’s threat to use nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles on the U.S. and any of its allies as the war continues.

With the battleground shifting from Kyiv to Donbas, the president announced a package of aid last week that included “artillery systems, artillery rounds, and armored personnel carriers,” as well as the transfer of additional helicopters.

While speaking to the press shortly after the meeting between Biden and the Ukrainian prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, at the White House, Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary on Wednesday, said that more than twelve flights bearing U.S. equipment are expected to land in Ukraine soon.

Some of the weapons, which include long-range ballistic missiles, are expected to increase the chances of the Ukrainian government winning the war as it moves to Donbas.

“It requires different kinds of weapons to be more effective,” Biden said Thursday of the changing nature of the conflict. He said the U.S. will provide “dozens” of howitzers and about 144,000 artillery shells.

Biden, who praised the Ukrainian people for a display of bravery in the face of Russian intimidation, called the battle of Kyiv “a historic victory for the Ukrainians.” He said that “it was a victory for freedom, won by the Ukrainian people with unprecedented assistance by the United States and our allies and partners.”

Bloomberg reported that on Thursday, senior administration officials detailed plans as part of the country’s strategic plan to help Ukraine allow as many as 100,000 Ukrainians to come to the U.S. for two years, provided they have family or another sponsor in the country.

They made it clear that Ukrainians who try to enter the U.S. through the Mexico border won’t get this new preference.

CNN ends $100 million streaming service, CNN+ after a month

 

CNN+, an online streaming venture created by CNN’s new owners, has suddenly come to a painful end. The company, which gulped $100 million in investment, was painfully ended after just three weeks of operation.

The Washington Post reported that the company which generated a lot of media frenzy after spending so much money and resources on hiring staff and engaging promotional campaigns “drew modest subscription sign-ups and faced uncertain long-term prospects.”

However, information gathered revealed that, amongst other things, the new management wasn’t impressed by the potential or need for the streaming service following stiff competition from rival streaming networks.

The service was created and developed under CNN’s former owner, WarnerMedia, but launched after Discovery Inc. took over the management of the company.

The Washington Post revealed that Discovery executives who now handle the management of the new company called Warner Bros. Discovery, a product of a merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery Inc., made the decision to pull the plug on CNN Plus at the end of the month.

CNN Plus was created to be CNN’s masterstroke on a paid-digital streaming service. According to andriodauthority.com, “CNN Plus serves as a way for people who don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription to access programming from the cable news network. People who already watch CNN via cable or satellite will also get expanded news coverage via CNN Plus. ”

With the aid of internet service, CNN Plus was born on the back of the growing popularity of streaming services, making it possible and more beneficial for people to watch high-quality news programmes from any part of the world.

The objective of the service was to entice viewers with original programmes hosted by familiar CNN journalists and newcomers such as former Fox News host Chris Wallace and actress Eva Longoria, the Washington Post said.

The service was based on keeping people who already watched the paid cable network. At the same time, it was trying to get people to sign up for the service.

Why did it fail? It was reported that the streaming service was unable to offer subscribers access to popular daily television programmes because of a non-compete agreement.

A situation that some of the contacted subscribers would not tolerate. Subscribers had believed that CNN Plus would grant them access to not only exclusive content on the streaming network, but also give them unlimited access to the paid cable channel. As a result, the company had a hard time getting people to sign up for the $5.99-a-month service right away.

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