The Federal Government has disclosed plans to leverage on tunnelling technology to address the problem of population explosion and transportation in urban centres.
The Minster of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, made this known at the first Nigeria International Tunnelling and Underground Space Conference organised by the Tunnelling Association of Nigeria in Lagos on Thursday.
According to the minister, who was represented by the Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr. Freeborn Okhiria, underground space development will be a major inter-ministerial commitment to respond to the country’s infrastructure needs.
He said the government could leverage on the vast potential and possibilities in tunnelling technology to address the major fundamental problems currently hindering infrastructural development, especially in urban centres.
Amaechi stated, “Other nations are doing it, so why not Nigeria? We are, therefore, eager to tap into what this global knowledge has to offer Nigerians and the Nigerian state for the overall good of our people towards achieving excellence and sustainable development in line with global trends.
“According to the draft National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan of 2013, Nigeria needs about $2.9tn in 30 years to close its infrastructural gap; that was the period the country was spending $10bn on its infrastructure at lower interest rate.
“Recent reports (2016) suggest that the country requires $12bn to $15bn annually for the next six years to meet the infrastructure requirements. At current market rates, this amount to over N7tn per year. Closing this gap, therefore, demands commitment from the government, but surely not without the inclusion of all Nigerians and relevant stakeholders in the key sectors for the development of our infrastructure.”
The Chairman, TAN Ad Hoc Committee, Mr. Abidemi Agwor, said there was a need for effective use of underground space as much as the surface.
The President, International Tunnelling Association, Mr. Tarcisio Celestino, said tunnels would decrease road accidents and fatalities as well as address the problem of space scarcity in cities.
The President, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Mr. Otis Anyaeji, who was represented by Mr. Emmanuel Akinwole, noted that investing in tunnels would provide a window through which the country’s economic development could be measured.
“Government needs to review current procedure to infuse underground space in planning,” he said.
The Vice President, International Commission on Large Dams, Mr. Imo Ekpo, said tunnelling would help the country to cope better with its growing population and industrialisation.
OPay Urges Customers to Complete BVN, NIN Verification Following CBN Directive
OPay, a prominent financial services firm, has called upon its customers to finalize the verification of their accounts by linking their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) or National Identity Numbers (NIN) in accordance with the recent directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The CBN, in a circular dated December 1, mandated all deposit money banks to enforce a ‘Post no Debit’ restriction on accounts lacking BVN or NIN.
Accounts without BVN would be placed under a ‘Post No Debit or Credit’ status from March 1, as outlined in the circular jointly signed by Chibuzo Efobi and Haruna Mustapha, Directors at the Payments System Management Department and Financial Policy and Regulation Department, respectively.
OPay affirmed the CBN’s directive and emphasized the necessity for account holders to complete the verification process.
Dauda Gotring, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of OPay, emphasized the importance of a secure and seamless experience for customers.
He encouraged users to comply with the verification process, reassuring them of the company’s commitment to a smooth process and 24/7 customer support.
OPay provided multiple channels for customer assistance, including in-app self-service, WhatsApp, phone lines, and social media platforms.
The company’s commitment to inclusivity and technological advancement underscores its mission to enhance financial services accessibility across Nigeria.
MTN Group Ltd. Reports 90% Plunge in Profit Amid Nigeria’s Currency Woes
MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest wireless service provider, has announced a 90% decline in its full-year profit following the plunge in Nigerian Naira.
The company revealed that its earnings per share for the year ending December fell to a range of 1.07 rand to 3.21 rand (approximately 6 to 17 US cents), a significant drop from 10.71 rand recorded in 2022.
The Nigerian naira, which experienced a 49% depreciation in 2023 and an additional 44% decline this year, has emerged as a significant factor impacting MTN’s financial performance.
As one of the world’s worst-performing currencies against the dollar, the naira’s instability has created a volatile economic environment, prompting concerns among international businesses operating in Nigeria.
The currency crisis, stemming from a shortage of dollars and exacerbated by policy missteps and corruption, has led to an exodus of multinational corporations seeking to repatriate earnings from Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria, with its burgeoning young population and growing tech sector, has struggled to address economic dysfunction despite its vast natural resources.
MTN Group Ltd., which boasts approximately 77 million customers in Nigeria, historically derives a substantial portion of its earnings from the country.
However, the company’s shares plummeted by as much as 7.2% in early trading following the profit announcement, reflecting investor concerns over the challenging operating environment.
Despite the bleak financial report, MTN highlighted positive metrics such as a 45% increase in data traffic and a 49% surge in mobile money transaction volumes.
However, the company refrained from providing guidance on its earnings margins, further adding to uncertainties surrounding its future financial performance.
Analysts underscored the importance of regulatory stability and economic reforms in Nigeria to restore investor confidence and mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations on companies like MTN.
As businesses navigate the economic landscape, the resilience of Nigeria’s currency and regulatory framework remains a critical concern for investors and industry stakeholders alike.
Leatherback Set for International Growth as EFCC Drops all Fraud and Misconduct Allegations
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has dropped all allegations of fraud and misconduct against Leatherback, a leading financial services technology company, and the company’s CEO, Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade.
In November 2023, EFCC announced that it had been made aware of the possibility of fraudulent activities on the Leatherback platform, leading to an investigation into the company’s operations to establish the facts. Cooperating fully with EFCC and working transparently with the organisation’s officials to provide a forensic view of its operations, Leatherback was able to unequivocally prove its innocence, leading the EFCC to drop all allegations and take down all previous communications on its website and social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) around the matter.
Leatherback supported the EFCC investigation by making over 5,000 printed documents available to officials to enable as much clarity as possible. Leatherback also filed Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) in the UK and Nigeria.
According to Toyeeb Ibrahim Ibitade, CEO of Leatherback, “I am relieved to see the end of this arduous episode, but I am even more delighted to see that myself and Leatherback, as an organisation, have been completely cleared of all wrongdoing. With this episode firmly behind us, we are poised to accelerate our mission to provide a single access point that empowers individuals and businesses to be truly global, delivering best-in-class financial, payment, and commerce solutions that remove barriers to global growth and mobility for all citizens of the world.”
Headquartered in London, Leatherback is regulated in the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Canada, India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, enabling the platform to serve customers across a wide range of markets effectively. Tens of thousands of individuals and businesses already use the platform to support business and lifestyle opportunities every day. Leatherback is also FCA Authorised, PCI DSS Compliant, and ISO Certified.
Leatherback offers financial services to businesses and individuals in multiple countries with no restrictions. Users can access up to 15 currencies from 21 countries, including NGN, GBP, INR, EUR, USD, and many other currencies. Users can also send and collect money locally and internationally, with invoicing, analytics, and permissions features available for businesses.
For more information, please visit: http://www.leatherback.co
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