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Fuel Queues Return, NNPC, Marketers Allay Scarcity Fears

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Filling stations in some parts of Lagos experienced queues on Friday amid a supply hitch that slowed down the distribution of the Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).

Our correspondent learnt on Friday that the hitch was resolved on Thursday, with more vessels expected to arrive in Apapa and discharge the product over the weekend.

The pockets of fuel queues in Lagos emerged a day after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation restated its commitment to the sustenance of the seamless supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.

The NNPC, on Friday, appealed to Nigerians to disregard trending social media report of an impending fuel scarcity due to purported refusal by some oil marketers to lift products from depots.

The Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, explained that the tale was fabricated by mischief makers with intent to create undue panic in the prevailing sanity in the fuel supply and distribution matrix across the country.

According to the statement, the corporation has over one billion litres of petrol in stock, and there was no need for panic buying or hoarding of petroleum products in anticipation of a phantom scarcity.

The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Clement Isong, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said the hitch led to the loss of a couple of hours in the transition of products between a vessel and the stations.

“But that hitch was resolved yesterday (Thursday), and we are pumping out as much as possible. Hopefully, the queues should have been cleared by tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” he said.

According to him, major markets have products in their tanks in Apapa and are loading out.

He said, “A vessel is currently offloading and we are expecting two vessels tomorrow. So, we will have three vessels pumping fuel into our tanks, and we will work throughout tonight to supply to the stations. So, if the public just live their lives as normal and there is no panic buying, there will be no queues.

“There is no problem in the supply chain; we just have got to focus to make sure that all the stations have products at the same time, and that the public do not resort to panic buying.”

The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, on Thursday, stated that “the present zero queues in the country would be sustained, especially as Easter approaches,” adding that no fewer than 55 depots across the country were fully stocked with petrol.

He explained that 23 depots in Lagos, seven in Port Harcourt, 11 in Warri, six in Calabar and eight in Kaduna, were stocked with petrol.

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UBA Takes Centre Stage at 2024 ECOWAS Mining Forum in Cotonou As Elumelu Gives Keynote Address

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Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been announced as the official sponsor of the 4th edition of the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum (ECOMOF 2024) scheduled to take place at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, Benin from February 22 to February 24, 2024.

The regional event is expected to see a large gathering of key players and stakeholders in the mining and petroleum sectors of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and as the financial institution of choice, with presence in 20 African countries and active involvement in major continental development projects, UBA is the preferred partner for the event, underlining the bank’s commitment to the growth of mining and Petroleum industry in the sub-region but to the whole not African economic development.

UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, would give the keynote address during the opening ceremony of this all-important event.

Elumelu who doubles as Chairman of Transcorp Group, with extensive interests in energy and power, will be speaking on the theme: “Geo-extractive Resources and Technologies: what pooling strategies for Value Creation in West Africa”

His speech is expected to highlight UBA’s increasing effort to support and develop the African continent through strategic investments in the key sectors of mining and petroleum.

Under the esteemed leadership of the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency, Patrice Talon, and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and current President of ECOWAS, His Excellency Mr. Bola Tinubu, UBA Group will at the forum aim to restate its commitment towards supporting economic and social development across the continent.

The focus of ECOMOF 2024 underscores the significance of transforming the mining and oil sectors into economic pillars by formulating attractive policies for investors, essential for the sectors’ substantial contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of ECOWAS member states.

The Transnational Corporation Group (Transcorp Plc) – a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in various sectors, including power and energy – will also actively participate in the forum.

Key officials from UBA Group and Transcorp Plc, including the Chief Executive Officer UBA Africa, Abiola Bawuah; UBA’s Group Head, Corporate and Energy Bank, Ebele Ogbue, and President/ Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, Owen Omogiafo will be actively involved in discussions and panels on the sidelines of the event.

Anticipated to attract over 2,000 participants from diverse sectors, including representatives from mining and oil industries, government officials, international and national investors, industry experts, ECOWAS delegates, and international organizations, ECOMOF 2024 promises to be a significant platform for collaborative dialogue and partnership building.

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees’ group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

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SME In A Box: Glo Unveils Niche Product to Boost Businesses

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Telecommunications firm, Globacom, has unveiled a niche product, ‘SME In A Box‘, to boost small and medium enterprise businesses in Nigeria.

Globacom disclosed in a press release that the product is an all-in-one bundle to connect, grow businesses and enhance productivity, saying it had continued to “evolve and adapt to changing business requirements by expanding and investing in areas of common interest and bringing latest solutions to support small and medium businesses across the country”.

Glo SME In A Box provides a set of bundled solutions for all the major communication and technology requirement of SMEs in the country. The product provides, among other benefits, professional website creation, customized Email setup and business tools (Social Media Integration, free social media advertising) as one bundle to customers. With this, SMEs can avoid engaging multiple partners to meet their needs. It is also bundled with voice and data bundles to enable the SMEs conduct business with ease.

The product’s affordability, said Glo, is to ensure small businesses benefit as it can be accessed for as low as N20,000 for a yearly package.

Globacom added that the product “is highly customizable and flexible to use because  it avails anyone with basic computer skills to establish online business presence and set up business-support tools within 30 minutes. It helps right from purchasing a domain to professional website creation, accounting payroll, CRM and inventory management”.

The company lamented that less than 5 percent of SMEs currently use Information Communication Technology (ICT) for their business operations or have a visible online presence. “Due to the low technology knowledge of most SME owners, they require a reliable partner to assist in introducing technology to their businesses, hence the introduction of the Glo SME In A Box”.

With Glo SME In A Box, the company noted, “customers can bring credibility and expand the reach of their businesses with the support of established business supporting tools and mediums. Glo SME In A Box is a complete bundle addressing the needs of growing and upcoming entrepreneurs through one single solution”.

The company urged businesses to log on to the dedicated website, https//www.glosmartbiz.com, for more information or call 121 for prepaid lines and 200 for postpaid lines.

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Cashtoken Promo: Glo Rewards Customers with N100m, Other Prizes

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Digital telecommunications solutions provider, Globacom, has launched another season of its recharge-based loyalty reward promo, ‘Glo Rewards- Cashtoken’.

According to the company, all old and prospective customers on the prepaid platforms are qualified to win in the promo.

To enroll for GloRewards, subscribers will dial *301*8# and start recharging to earn cashtokens. The assured cashback is N8, and they have a chance to win between N5,000 and N100m weekly in grand raffle draws. Every week, customers will also get a chance to win Gloworld Gift vouchers worth N10,000, Samsung A05 Phones and Samsung A54 smartphones,” a statement from Glo informed.

Winners that emerged in a previous edition of the promo include William Ubi, a Civil Engineering student of Cross River State University and Mohammed Tijani, a Kaduna-based farmer, who both won N200,000 and Anthony Iyemi, a Warri-based customer who won N100,000.

The company further disclosed in the press statement, which was released in Lagos,  that the new season of Rewards was unveiled to avail its subscribers and other Nigerians another opportunity to win cash prizes and other amazing items saying, “customers participating in the Rewards Program, just like in other seasons, will earn cashtokens on every N1000 cumulative recharge within a calendar month.”

Subscribers, according to the company will continue to earn and accumulate cashtokens as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. This means that there is no upper limit to accumulating cashtokens as all  cashtokens will be credited in a virtual wallet that is linked to the customer’s mobile.

“Customers will be able to view and redeem their cashtokens by dialing *6700# to purchase airtime/data, pay electricity bills, pay cable television bills or make other payments. They can also transfer their accumulated cashtokens to the bank and cash out the equivalent value”, the company added.

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