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Gas Revenue: Fidelity Bank Supports Temile Development Company

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In what has been termed a significant milestone in the advancement of Nigeria’s domestic gas industry and the generation of gas revenues, Temile Development Company Ltd -a key indigenous player in the oil and gas industry- recently commissioned a 23,000 cubic meters ultramodern Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Carrier.

Named ‘Alfred Temile 10’, the vessel was part-financed by leading Nigerian bank -Fidelity Bank Plc- and was commissioned at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in Ulsan, South Korea. Dignitaries at the event included the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari,OFR; Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank Plc, Dr Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe,OON; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Hon. Ekperikpe Luke Ekpo; the Charge D’Affairs Ad Interim of the Embassy of Nigeria in South Korea, Ambassador Ferdinand Nwonye; Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe; amongst others.

Commending the company on the laudable development, Mallam Mele Kyari said, “I want to congratulate Mr. Alfred for the great feat you have achieved on behalf of our country and we understand that today clean energy is everything because the whole world is transiting to cleaner fuel. In our country, biomass is the major source of energy, and I know that the efforts we are making collectively and with this effort by Temile Group will enhance that ability to produce cleaner energy in our country.”

On her own part, Dr Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe,OON said, “This commissioning is a landmark achievement for Nigeria as the vessel would further support the nation’s drive to utilize cleaner energy sources especially as the world transitions to environmental-friendly energy options. Fidelity Bank is delighted to facilitate this transaction and we congratulate our amiable customer -Mr. Alfred Temile- as well as the good people of Nigeria on this feat.” It was noted that this was the second of its kind being part-financed by the Bank and further underscores its support for the industry.

An elated Mr. Alfred Temile, the CEO of Temile Development Company, expressed heartfelt appreciation for the collaboration and strong support received from NNPC Ltd and other stakeholders throughout the project’s journey.

The vessel will bolster the local participation of indigenous maritime players, improve the logistics of LPG supply and increase the availability of LPG for the Nigerian last-mile users. This will contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s domestic gas industry while demonstrating the dedication and increasing capabilities of indigenous Nigerian companies in the oil and gas sector.

It will be recalled that Fidelity Bank Plc also part-financed the development of the recently launched Pinnacle Oil and Gas Terminal in Lagos as part of efforts to improve energy security in the country.

Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.

The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.

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Glo Widens Customer Base with Its MoneyMaster PSB

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Glo-powered MoneyMaster Payment Service Bank (MMPSB), a major payment service bank in Nigeria, has recorded massive growth in its customer base as it added a new bouquet of services to its operations.

The positive growth is as a result of innovations and services introduced in the past few months by the PSB to delight its customers in the country.

Licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in August 2020, MoneyMaster PSB facilitates payments and remittance services within Nigeria, accepts deposits from individuals and small businesses, issues debit and prepaid cards, operates electronic wallets, inbound remittances, and carries out other services in line with CBN regulations.

Its focus is the unbanked and under-banked segment in Nigeria in order to deepen financial inclusion. It launched commercial operations in May 2022, and has continued to experience expansion in its client base with hundreds of potential customers leveraging its digital channels such as USSD, mobile app and internet banking to open accounts, buy airtime and data, pay utility bills and more.

Sources indicate that more Nigerians are joining the bank to enjoy the wide array of services on offer and conduct their financial transactions with ease and with assurance of security of their transactions.

There are currently over 4,000 billers on the MMPSB platform and the number is growing on a daily basis. Through the platform, customers are able to pay for many essential services such as airtime, data, electricity, cable subscription, etc.

The immediate future holds bigger promise for customers of the payment service bank as it gears up to retool and reengineer for better customer experience. Several new initiatives are set to be unveiled to delight customers soon.

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Forex Crisis: FG Blocks Binance, OctaFX, Coinbase, Others

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The Nigerian government has blocked the online platforms of Binance and other crypto firms to avert what it considers continuous manipulation of the forex market and illicit movement of funds.

Sources within the major telecommunication companies in the country told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) communicated the directive to telcos and they had started acting on it.

Apart from Binance, other platforms such as Forextime, OctaFX, Crypto, FXTM, Coinbase, Kraken, among others, were equally blocked.

Presidency and regulatory sources said the government decided to move against Binance and other crypto firms following reports that currency speculators and money launderers were using them to execute criminal activities. Authorities believe the ‘criminal activities’ going on on platforms are contributing significantly to the weakening of the naira.

Binance, a digital assets platform, serves as a window for peer to peer transactions allowing users to advertise interest to sell or buy currencies of their choice.

In September 2023, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) placed a disclaimer on Binance Nigeria Limited, saying the platform was “neither registered nor regulated by the Commission and its operations in Nigeria are therefore illegal”.

Despite the warning by the regulatory agency, the firm continued its operation, attracting huge patronage especially among urban youths and suspected speculators and money launderers. Aside from suspicions of economic sabotage, officials also speak of national security concerns as the platforms are often patronised by other criminal groups including for payment of ransom.

In its reaction earlier on Wednesday, Binance said “users behaving in a manipulative way” will be removed from its platform.

“As industry leaders, we are working hand in hand with local authorities, lawmakers, and regulators to ensure we act on non-compliance,” the platform added, noting that it is “setting an upper limit for ads, filtering and removing bad ads, requiring and raising deposits for merchants posting ads as well as processes for actioning against any market manipulators.”

On Tuesday, the Nigerian government announced that it was planning to raise $10bn to improve liquidity in the foreign exchange market.

President Bola Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, disclosed this at the inaugural Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

“At the core of this is ensuring optimal management of the assets and investments of the Federal Government towards unlocking their revenue potential. This includes our bold and achievable plan to double the GDP growth rate and significantly increase the GDP base over the next 8 years,” Mr Shettima said.

Meanwhile, the naira tumbled to an all-time low of N1,900 per dollar at the parallel market on Tuesday, amidst speculations and uncertainties about supply constraints in the markets. But at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), the local unit appreciated slightly to N1,551.24.

Earlier on Tuesday, the office of the National Security Adviser directed law enforcement agencies to take firm measures against anyone engaged in foreign exchange market speculation.

“In a concerted effort to safeguard Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and combat speculative activities, the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Central Bank of Nigeria are joining forces to address challenges impacting the nation’s economic stability,” the office said in a statement.

“The CBN’s proactive measures to stabilise the foreign exchange market and stimulate economic activities have been commendable. However, the effectiveness of these initiatives is being undermined by the activities of speculators, both domestic and international, operating through various channels, thereby exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigerian naira.”

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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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