• Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Wednesday


No US citizen killed in Anambra convoy vehicle attack – Official

White House authorities have said no citizen of the United States died in the attack on a U.S. convoy vehicle in Anambra, Nigeria, Tuesday.

However, the nation confirmed that there was an attack on its diplomatic convoy in the southeast of the country.

“What I can tell you is that no U.S. citizens were involved,” National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told Reuters. “But we are aware of some casualties, perhaps even some killed, but I don’t want to get too far ahead of where we are right now.”

But there are multiple reports that at least four staff members of the US embassy, were killed in the attack.

Read more:No US citizen killed in Anambra convoy vehicle attack; Official

Sambo inaugurates NIMASA Abuja office, tasks staff on productivity

Muazu Sambo, Minister of Transportation, on Tuesday, called on members of staff of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to double their efforts to ensure improved service delivery and economic development.

Sambo gave the advice while inaugurating the new NIMASA Abuja Liaison Office on Tuesday.

He applauded the government for establishing a permanent zonal office for the agency, saying that it was a much-needed development, taking into context its strategic role in the sector.

“Apart from the reduction of the cost of governance, the New Abuja Zonal Office will serve as the centrepiece of government relations on matters with bilateral and multilateral implications for international trade and cooperation.

“It will enable the agency to host foreign diplomats and other key maritime stakeholders in the Federal Capital Territory, thereby helping the agency to speedily achieve its mandate.

“All these led to the acquisition of the office and served as further proof of the growth in capacity of NIMASA due to its deepened role in Nigeria’s economic development,” the minister said.

Mastercard, Netplus, FCMB launch new payment solution

Mastercard, Netplus, and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) have announced the launch of a contactless payment solution that will allow customers, financial institutions, and merchants to process payments with ease using Tap on Phone technology.

Speaking at the launch on Tuesday in Lagos, Ebehijie Momoh, Country Manager and Area Business Head, West Africa at Mastercard, said that the payment solution, which is revolutionary, would help speed up trade transactions in the country.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of our innovative solution in Nigeria in partnership with First City Monument Bank. As a frontrunner in the digital payments industry, we recognise our responsibility to introduce cost-effective solutions that benefit everybody in the economy and facilitate the adoption of a cashless society for the collective benefit of all.

“This partnership is part of our commitment to connecting millions of Nigerians in a world where digital connectivity is integrated into their daily lives, making their lives easier and simpler.”

Telcos, banks USSD battle near end

The dispute over the N120 billion Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) unsettled debt of commercial banks to telecommunication operators (telcos) seems to be coming to an end as information gathered reveals that telcos may soon begin to charge bank customers’ airtime or data for USSD transactions, according to people familiar with the matter.

This comes especially after the Central Bank of Nigeria organised a stakeholders’ forum to resolve this lingering issue between the telcos and deposit money banks in the country.

The CBN intervention became expedient after the commercial banks refused to pay the telcos their N120 billion USSD debt and threatened to suspend their services.

Abdulmunin Isa, the CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communication, had earlier disclosed that the CBN was intervening and that a resolution to the crisis was nearer than ever.

He said, “The CBN is very much aware of the protracted dispute between the banks and telcos and has been engaging all stakeholders to ensure an amicable resolution.”

Data and debt ceiling lift dollar

The U.S. dollar stayed firm on Wednesday against major currencies, supported by a safety bid as the U.S. government moved towards its borrowing limit and boosted after solid economic data had traders trimming bets on an unavoidable rate cut.

The dollar broke its ceiling point as it reached its two-week peak of 136.69 yen overnight and oscillated just below that at 136.35 early in the Asia session. It also broke above its 50-day moving average against the euro to trade at $1.0866 per euro.

President Joe Biden and top congressional Republican Kevin McCarthy have moved steps closer to a deal that would avoid a U.S. debt default, but nothing has been clinched yet, and ironically, the risk that the U.S. fails to pay its debts has put a bid under the currency.