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FG approves debit card, NIN merger

The Federal Government has approved the merger of National Identity Number cards and bank debit cards.

This approval comes after a memo from the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday stated that the National Identity Management Commission will allow banks to print debit cards that double as National Identity cards. This comes at no extra cost over the normal fees charged for debit cards.

“It is going to be a form of multipurpose card where it will serve as your national identity card on one hand and also your bank card on the other hand, either MasterCard, Visa, or any other kind of card,” Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, told State House Correspondents after Wednesday’s valedictory meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Aso Rock Villa.

Read also: FG, Canadian firm launch digital platform to deepen healthcare access

CBN creates eNaira awareness among women

In an effort to drive eNaira adoption among Nigerians, especially women, the Central Bank of Nigeria has, during the Law Ladies Day programme at the University of Lagos, urged women to embrace digital currency as a means to promote financial literacy.

A statement from the apex bank said that the initiative was to further promote adoption of the digital currency among women, students, and Nigerians in general who attended the 2023 Law Ladies’ Day programme theme, ‘Defying stereotypes: Celebrating the different shades of femininity’.

The bank used the opportunity to educate the attendees on the benefits of the eNaira and why they should adopt the digital currency.

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance posts N12.83bn gross premium in 2022

Consolidated Hallmark Insurance (CHI) Plc has posted Gross Premium Written (GPW) of N12.83 billion for the financial year ended Dec. 31, 2022.

Obinna Ekezie, Chairman, Board of Directors of the company, said this at the insurer’s 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday in Lagos.

Ekezie said that the figure represented an increase of 22 percent in contrast with the N10.50 billion achieved in the preceding period of 2021.

He said the firm’s underwriting profit rose to N2.4 billion in 2022 from N1.92 billion in 2021.

Ekezie added that the underwriting firm’s total assets stood at N18.54 billion in the review period, up from N15.7 billion recorded in 2021.

He noted that the company’s profit before tax rose to N1.41 billion from the N971.7 million recorded in 2021.

The chairman said the total profit attributable to shareholders had attained a billion-naira mark, having hit N1.02 billion, from N923.1million in 2021.

He assured the shareholders that the company would remain committed to consistent dividend payment in line with its firm belief in the Return-On-Investments.

Access Holdings shareholders approve N46.21bn final dividend for 2022

Shareholders of Access Holdings Plc have approved a final dividend of N46.21 billion declared by the company for financial year ended Dec. 31, 2022.

The shareholders gave their approval on Wednesday in Lagos at the company’s first Annual General Meeting (AGM), the first after the company transitioned into a Holdings Company.

The dividend amounted to N1.30 per share. This amount was in addition to the 20k interim dividend earlier paid by the company bringing the total dividend to N1.50 per share.

Speaking at the meeting, Bisi Bakare, the President, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the company for achieving gross earnings of over one trillion naira during the review period.

Bakare also commended the management for improved dividend payment in spite of the challenging business environment.

Republicans, White House see progress in US debt ceiling talks

Negotiators for Democratic President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy held talks both parties called productive on Wednesday to try to reach an agreement to raise the U.S. $31.4 trillion debt ceiling and avoid a disastrous default.

After more than three hours of White House meetings, U.S. House Speaker McCarthy said negotiations had improved and would continue in the evening. He predicted the two sides would reach an agreement, though several issues remain unresolved.

“We’ve made some progress working down there. So that’s very positive,” McCarthy told reporters. “I want to make sure we get the right agreement. I can see that we’re working towards that.”

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said talks remain fruitful.

“If it keeps going in good faith, we can get to an agreement here,” she said at a briefing while discussions were taking place. (Reuters)