CBN suspends cashless policy in 30 states

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The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday announced the immediate suspension of the implementation of the Cashless Nigeria Policy in 30 states of the federation.

This came exactly 21 days after the CBN commenced the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy on April 1, 2017.

In a circular signed by the Director, Banking and Payment System, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, the regulatory agency ordered Deposit Money Banks to revert to the old charges and refund customers who had been debited for withdrawing and making cash deposits above the limits allowed under the policy.

The CBN had earlier announced new charges on deposits and withdrawals above a threshold of N500,000 for individuals and N3m for corporate organisations.

The bank had fixed 1.5 per cent and two per cent for deposits above N500,000 and N1m in the individual category.

Fatokun, however, said the implementation of the policy would remain in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Abia, Anambra and Rivers states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory.

The circular read in part, “You will recall that a directive was issued on the nationwide implementation of the cashless policy vide our circulars with reference numbers BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/04/001 dated February 21, and BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/04/002 dated March 16.

“Please note that the new withdrawal and deposit processing fee charges above the threshold, as contained in the circulars referenced above, are hereby suspended until further notice. The position of the policy shall now revert to the status quo ante.

“The old charges to be reverted to three per cent processing fee for withdrawals above N500,000 in the individual category and five per cent for withdrawals above N3m.

“The new policy already applied effective April 1, 2017 as contained in the circulars in reference above should be reversed and the old charges be applied. All necessary refunds should be made accordingly.”

Credit PUNCH.

Analysis On UEFA Champions League Semifinal Draw – 

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The draw for the UEFA Champions League semifinals have just been concluded and here are my thoughts on the fixtures.

Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid have shown that they are masters of the Champions League and they are always hard to beat when they get to this stage as their record 11 victories in this competition indicates. However, if there is any team that can beat Real over 2 legs, it is probably Atletico Madrid. 2 losses in 2 close-fought finals in the last three years to Real will definitely serve as motivation for Diego Simeone and his men.

However, with Cristiano Ronaldo in fine form, it might be a difficult challenge to beat this Real team under Zinedine Zidane, a great player that is also turning out to be a great coach.

I am tipping Atletico to win this one though, they have been rather unlucky in their losses to Real and I just get the feeling this might be their time to get one over their big city rivals in Europe’s premier club competition. Their mixture of Spartan discipline and technical finesse when required could prove decisive this time around.

Monaco vs. Juventus

This is a classic game of the masters of attack against the masters of defence. The margins at this stage of the competition are so small that any of the 4 semifinalists could actually win the competition. Monaco have shown an amazing mentality and attacking philosophy in this competition. Their approach is simple- we do not mind conceding goals because we are going to outscore you anyway. Juventus on the other hand have shown they are excellent at keeping the best strikers in the world quiet considering the fact that Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar could not find the back of the net over 2 legs against Juventus, neither did the rest of the Barcelona team.

But the Mbappe-Falcao partnership is proving to be difficult to resist and going by the way this Monaco team is dispatching some of Europe’s finest, it is hard not to tip them as favourites to go through. I rate them highly and expect to see them at the final.

I am in effect expecting a Monaco-Atletico Madrid final. Now, that would be quite a spectacle.

Credit Opinion. Ng

Dangote begins installation of oil refinery equipment

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Dangote Oil Refining Company Limited has said the installation of equipment for the crude oil refinery being built in Lagos will begin this month.

The Head, Quality Assurance/Quality Compliance and Construction, DORC, Mr. Rama Putta, told our correspondent, who visited the site of the plant, that the 650,000-barrels-per-day refinery would come on stream by September 2019.

According to him, the basic engineering work has reached 98 per cent completion; the detailed engineering, 90 per cent; 3D modelling, 80 per cent; long lead items ordering, 100 per cent; bulk plates ordering, 90 per cent; equipment and bulk items, 50 per cent; and construction activities, 25 per cent.

He said the sand filling of the site was completed six months ago, adding that 60 per cent of the land was swampy.

Putta said bringing the land to three metres above the mean sea level was the biggest challenge, adding, “The sand is tightly compacted and ready for the erection of the equipment. No flood can affect our area. The surrounding area is only one metre above the mean sea level. The entire Lagos is only 1.5 metres above the main sea level.

“We dredged sand from the Atlantic Ocean, about 60 million cubic metres. The world’s biggest dredgers dredged the sand for about 18 months. It’s a big job and is completed successfully. Now, what is left is to erect the equipment.”

Our correspondent was taken round the site to see some of the materials, including steel, plates and cranes, which were brought in for the construction of the refinery.

Putta stated, “We need a lot of big cranes. All the equipment are going to come horizontally; they are to be put vertically. That is why to lift them, we need cranes. We need 300 cranes; 250 cranes are already here. The remaining cranes are coming from China.

“We will start erecting the refinery equipment in a week or 10 days’ time, and it will take about 15 to 20 months.”

According to him, about 3,000 pieces of equipment are required for the refinery.

He noted, “Out of that, more than 200 have already come in. They come in semi-finished shape and we will finish them off. The remaining are being manufactured in various countries, including China, India, America, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.

“The challenge is bringing heavy equipment. There are 300 very heavy equipment and we have given contracts to the biggest shippers in the world to bring them from different countries.”

Putta added, “We have a jetty. All the materials coming from various countries come by ship and they get unloaded at the Apapa ports. From the Apapa port, they come here by road. Some of the equipment are very big, more than 2,000 metric tonnes, and they cannot come by road. We bring them from Apapa to our jetty by ship and we unload them.

“This refinery is going to operate at 110 per cent of its capacity at the minimum. If you don’t make 110 per cent, your profit is only 15 per cent. Majority of the refineries in the world like American refineries, Korean refineries and some Indian refineries operate at more than 105 per cent.”

According to him, the company will begin the trading of petroleum products next year ahead of the completion of the refinery.

He said the company would complete the construction of the refinery’s trading facilities in 2018 and test them by selling imported petroleum products for one year.

The facilities include storage tanks, loading gantries and single point moorings as well as pipelines.

Putta said, “In September 2018, we are going to inaugurate our trading facilities, which consist gantries for filling the trucks, and 35 tanks for storing the fluids will be ready. Every day, 2,600 trucks are going to be filled with petrol, diesel, kerosene and jet fuel.

“We will buy the products from other countries, because by that time our products will not be ready, and trade them for one year. This is to test our trading facilities. By September 2019, we will sell our own products.”

Credit PUNCH.

Meet Jelani Aliyu, senior creative designer of General motors, now Automotive council chairman

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President Mohammadu Buhari may well have ignited stakeholders’ confidence in Nigeria’s automotive industry as he appointed renowned General Motors Senior Creative Designer as the new Director General, National Automotive Design and Development Council, NADDC.

Aliyu, who also designed the awe-inspiring Chevrolet Volt replaces Engineer Aminu Jalal.

But who is Jelani Aliyu? Born in Kaduna in 1966 to Alhaji Aliya and Sharifiya Hauwa’u Aliyu who both hail from Sokoto State, Jelani Aliyu attended Capital School, Sokoto between 1971 and 1978, and then proceeded to Federal Government College, Sokoto, where he graduated with honours as ‘best technical drawing student.’

He was later offered admission to study Architecture at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria but declined the offer for a similar course at the Birnin Kebbi Polytechnic, Kebbi State from 1986 to 1988 – the institution that formally embedded in Jelani the culture of automobile design.

While at the Polytechnic, Jelani Aliyu did in depth research into home designs and construction, experimenting with materials and structures that could best be functional for buildings in the hot northern climate without necessarily using air conditioning system.

His effort earned him another accolade when upon graduation he was hired at the Ministry of Works, Sokoto, where he worked briefly.

An exceptionally curious Aliyu soon moved in 1990 to Detroit, Michigan, USA where he enrolled at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit under a Sokoto Scholarship board sponsorship.

Having always wanted to study Automobile Design, Jelani Aliyu became enthusiastic in automotive design and as he says: “The course was very practical and emphasis was put on creativity and the development of new designs to provide solutions.”

Upon graduation in 1994, he began his career with the design staff of General Motors, where he worked on the Buick Rendezvous and later became lead exterior designer of the Pontiac G6 and Astra, General Motors’ Opel Division and soon designed the Chevrolet Volt which was unveiled in 2007.

Married with three kids, Jelani was recently quoted as saying “I think with the new automotive policy, with the support the government is giving to the industry, it has begun to create the momentum needed. We just need to continue pushing it through the next stages, especially in terms of enabling a Nigerian vehicle that is conceptualized, designed and developed by Nigerians for Nigerians in Nigeria.

“When I say Nigerian vehicle, I don’t necessarily mean the whole thing, but a vehicle designed specifically for the Nigerian populace. A vehicle in tune with the history, culture, environment and economic structure of the people, and I think we are heading there.”

Credit Autojosh

Sse the reaction of passengers in a plane engulfed in smoke (video)

A Nigerian Twitter user, has narrated how the domestic passenger plane she boarded on Tuesday nearly burst into flames on Tuesday.

She said the terrifying incident began barely 20 minutes into the flight after a fault developed and the interior of the plane was filled with smoke.

A video she posted along with a series of tweets after they landed safely on Tuesday evening from the Lagos-bound Aero Contractors flight from Port Harcourt showed how terrified the passengers were, many chanting prayers loudly.

Watch the video

The 90th yr old retired Pope drinks beer on his birthday pics

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Benedict XVI received a surprise from his homeland for his 90th birthday. He was visited by the Bavarian prime minister who brought him a basket of bretzels, the typical bread from Germany.

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Bavarian Prime minister left, Pope, his 93yr old brother left 

In addition to the sweets, the pope enjoyed a few minutes at the entrance of his house with music, dances and typical costumes reminding him of back home.

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Branded beer with Pope’s pictures

As every good German party, he could not miss the toast with his beer in hand.

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BENEDICT XVI says

“The nature in Bavaria is beautiful; but it is especially beautiful because of the church towers, because of the houses and their balconies full of flowers, and because of the good people. It is beautiful, because God is known there. It is known that He has created the world, which comes to fruition when we cooperate with God to build it. I thank you with all my heart for this Bavarian presence, which you bring to me. It is a Bavaria that is open to the world, which is lively and joyful. It can be precisely this way, because it has its root and foundation in faith.”

Of course, Benedict said the best gift was to spend the day with his brother Georg, 93, who came from Regensburg to be with him.

Credit Rome reports

Indian billionaire plans $150 m ‘Mahabharata’ movie (pic)

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B R Shetty

A Gulf-based billionaire is planning to smash the record for the most expensive Indian movie by splashing out $150 million to make a film of the Hindu epic “Mahabharata”.

The cost of producing the two-part extravaganza is set to dwarf that of “Baahubali”, which is India’s biggest budget film to date at around 4.5 billion rupees ($45 million).

“I believe that this film will not only set global benchmarks, but also reposition India and its prowess in mythological storytelling,” said businessman B. R. Shetty in a statement late Monday announcing the project.

“I am confident that this film will be adapted in over 100 languages and reach over 3 billion people across the world,” added the Indian billionaire, who lives in the United Arab Emirates.

Filming is due to start late next year with the first instalment set to hit screens in early 2020, the statement said. It will be released in several Indian languages and dubbed for foreign audiences as well.

The blockbuster, which will be directed by south Indian filmmaker V.A Shrikumar Menon, will be the latest retelling of the “Mahabharata”, an ancient Sanskrit story about a battle between feuding princes which includes the “Bhagavad Gita”.

It has had many screen adaptations, including a highly successful television series in the 1980s, and inspired a number of films.

The announcement comes before the release next week of the second and final instalment of “Baahubali”, a Telugu- and Tamil-language film featuring elaborate battle scenes.

The combined cost for the two parts was about $45 million. While budgets for Indian movies are rising they are still well short of those in Hollywood, where a blockbuster often costs more than $200 million to make.

Who is B R Shetty?

B R Shetty is based in UAE (United Arab Emirate). BR Shetty the No. 9 in the UAE richest list, he’s another self-made Indian expat, who has interests in healthcare and foreign exchange remittances.

Former pharma salesman B.R. Shetty immigrated to Abu Dhabi in 1972. He made a big splash last May with the acquisition of UK foreign exchange group Travelex Holdings for an estimated $1.6 billion together with Centurion, the investment arm of Saeed Bin Butti Al Qabaisi, his longtime business partner,” lists his profile.

“Shetty already owns the UAE Exchange, which handles over 10 per cent of all inward foreign remittances into India. His London-listed NMC Health is the UAE’s largest private health care firm. Other interests include generics firm Neopharma which is a contract manufacturer for Pfizer and Merck Serono.

Shetty also owns prized real estate such as an apartment on the 100th floor of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. He offered jobs at NMC to 46 Indian nurses who were stranded in Iraq’s Tikrit after militants seized it.”

Why You Have No Excuse To Remain Broke 

Being broke is not your fault. It happens to everyone at one point or the other. But to remain broke? Now that is your fault. It is wrong to continue to blame anybody or a system for your financial fortune.

There are so many opportunities around that it is totally illogical for anyone to remain broke. There are countless possibilities that stare at us today. And as I have often say, the way to end the cycle of being broke is not just to work hard at your regular job but to have your own personal business. Your job may earn you a living but true wealth comes from owning your own business. And the business prospects of our day exceed what is obtainable at any other time. Even our parents never had it easy.

There are three basic excuses why people refuse to start their own business:

No capital: Of course, this is the foremost reason. It is a reasonable excuse considering how difficult it is to get along. It can be painful that after brainstorming to come up with business ideas, there is money to execute it. But this reason is logical only up to a certain point. There are people that have started businesses with no money of their own. Better still, there are businesses you can do right now that do not require capital but can fetch you money to start other businesses. They exist!

Unfavorable business climate: This is one of the reasons that were given on a thread few days ago about why some phones are cheaper in Kenya than Nigeria. And it is a valid point too. Nigeria’s environment makes it difficult for businesses to thrive. International studies and even African businessmen like Strive Masiyiwa have also asserted that Nigeria is not too favorable for businesses.

No business idea: Have you seen some people that actually have the capital but do not know what businesses to go into? Though this category is very rare, they never the less exist. And business idea does not just mean a random idea, I refer to ideas that can generate returns.

This is why having an internet business is the key. It eliminates the first two problems. If you have an internet business:

• You don’t have to worry about capital. Most genuine businesses require almost no financial input from you. Internet businesses these days will generate money for you even if you don’t invest capital in them. All they require is your time.

• You don’t have to worry about unfavorable business climate.Nigeria’s business climate does not have its tentacles extended to the online world. Here, there is no need for inventory, no tax, no need for staff, no need to bribe officials and the likes. All you need is your laptop, your two hands and your data subscription.

• You don’t have to worry about having a business location. You don’t need an office either. All you need, you most likely have: your own apartment. You can work from the comfort of your home.

Three most lucrative internet businesses in Nigeria now

By ‘most lucrative businesses’, I mean businesses you can start right away with almost nothing from the comfort of your home with potential of fetching you handsome profits.

Work on Kindle (Publishing): Amazon’s kindle desktop publishing is one of the most lucrative. If you have the ability to write, why not make money from it? With kindle, you can publish your books for free and enjoy patronage from all around the world. You don’t need to pay to register neither are there subscription fees. It’s free. Better still, you can write at your convenience and keep earning royalty for life!

Work on Fiverr (Freelancing): Yes, the freelance business is still making more Nigerians richer! Fiverr is a profitable platform because you stand a chance to work there. Contrary to what you think, Fiverr is not only about writing. If you can edit videos, audios, do photoshop, or you are tech savvy, it means you are a potential hot cake on Fiverr. Equally, if you can write articles and other kinds of writing, you should give this a thought. Any ability you have will find its market on Fiverr.

Work on Clickbank (Affiliate Marketing): This is my speciality. You can engage in Affiliate marketing by simply promoting the products of companies. How do you get your money? The companies will pay you a commission when anyone makes a purchase through the unique link you will be given. If you have two hours a day and an internet connection, you are good to go. Unlike the other two options above, you don’t need any special ability to work here. In other words, anybody can engage in affiliate marketing. Once you learn the ropes, you will start making money from the marketing.

Once again, I repeat; being broke is not bad, but remaining broke is definitely bad. There is no excuse to be. This is why any sensible Nigerian will embrace these opportunities and exploit them. And the good thing about them is that you can start any of these businesses right away.

Credit Affiliate jagaban.com

Hon. PATRICK OBAHIAGBON’s EASTER GREETINGS.

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Hon Obahiagbon is a Nigerian politician, a former state house of assembly member from Edo State, and a former chief of staff to Governor Adams Oshiomole. He’s famously known as a moving encyclopedia of dictionary, using uncommon English words to express himself.

Read his Easter message to Christians in Nigeria:

As we join Christians in the celebration of Easter, may we truly reflect on the quintessential modus vivendi of Master Jesus;

The Christ, who peregrinated this incarnation as an exempli gratia of self abnegation, puritanical excrescence, spartan discipline, mental magnitude, hierophantic candour and altruistic effusions, qualities which have become a desiderata for national resurgimento.

Beyond the fugacious razzmatazz of the moment, I seriously call attention to the rutilanting and coruscating modus vivendi of Master Jesus the Christ and I dare pontificate that save and until we viscerally emblematize the virtues of self-immolation, quintessential abnegation, eulogizeable simplicity, Christ-like humility and immerse ourselves in a platonic emotionalism of agape love and communalistic service, we would have woefully failed in learning and imbibing the true meaning of EASTER.

We must elevate this moment from a proscenium of joie de vivre into one of meditative transcendentalism”.

HAPPY EASTER.