• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Monday

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Technology

Over the weekend, Nigerian telcos deactivated 40 million telephone lines for failing to link Subscriber Identity Modules to National Identity Numbers, exceeding the planned 12 million.

The Nigerian Communications Commission enforced the February 28, 2024 deadline, rejecting extensions. Telcos face sanctions for non-compliance.

The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria disclosed the increase, including SIMs without NINs.

Deadline enforcement aims to enhance telecom consumer identification and security.

Banking

The Senate plans to interrogate Central Bank officials regarding the N30trillion Ways and Means loan under the Buhari-led government.

Senator Isah Jibrin disclosed the upcoming probe, aiming to uncover how the funds were acquired and utilized.

The Senate appointed Jibrin to chair the investigation, focusing on the alleged reckless spending contributing to Nigeria’s food and security crises.

Ways and Means loans are overdrafts for budget deficits or emergencies, requiring executive approval and parliamentary ratification.

Africa

In 2023, African global trade remained under 3 percent, primarily in merchandise trade, as per a report by the Economic Commission for Africa.

Despite strides in monetary and financial integration, African nations trade more with non-African countries than among themselves.

The African Continental Free Trade Area, launched in 2021, aimed to boost intra-African trade, yet anticipated improvements have not manifested. Macroeconomic convergence criteria remain unmet despite progress in regional integration.

Aviation 

Qatar Airways collaborates with Access Bank, extending flight discounts to the bank’s African clientele.

From February 14 to March 31, 2024, Access Bank customers receive a 12 percent discount on Qatar Airways flights booked online with their USD debit cards.

The initiative aims to facilitate travel, especially during the love season.

Qatar Airways emphasizes the transformative potential of such partnerships in enhancing African travel opportunities. Access Bank echoes enthusiasm for the collaboration.

Foreign news

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday demanded Palestinian militant group Hamas agree to an immediate six-week ceasefire while forcefully urging Israel to do more to boost aid deliveries into Gaza, where she said innocent people were suffering a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

In some of the strongest comments by a senior leader of the U.S. government to date on the issue, Harris pressed the Israeli government and outlined specific ways on how more aid can flow into the densely-populated enclave where hundreds of thousands of people are facing famine, following five months of Israel’s military campaign.

“Given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire,” Harris said at an event in Selma, Alabama. “There is a deal on the table, and as we have said, Hamas needs to agree to that deal. Let’s get a ceasefire.”