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Governor Sanwo-Olu unveils Optimus Bank

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Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has unveiled Optimus Bank, the latest addition to the Nigeria’s financial space in grand style.

The governor, in his speech, emphasized the bank’s potential to further drive economic growth and stability in Lagos state. He said, “Optimus Bank will not only play a crucial role in the banking sector and the established organizations but also in start-ups and SMEs. They are set to lift the people out of poverty.”

The governor also praised Optimus Bank for employing cutting-edge technology and innovative practices, which aligns with the state’s push for technological advancement and financial modernization.

The governor further commended the commitment of Optimus Bank towards being customer-centric stating that the bank has “the interest of its customers at heart and is ready to journey with each customer individually.”

He also stated that Optimus bank service “will take personal banking to another level” and is willing to collaborate with not just Lagos state government in every sector but also with Nigeria in financial transactions.

He acknowledged that Optimus Bank is ”People-centric and consumer-focused” and implored Nigerians to “explore the services and encourage Optimus Bank with the changes it will bring.”

The governor further assured Optimus Bank of the support of the Lagos state government and promised to continually improve the business environment where safety of lives and properties is a priority and make Lagos state conducive for business to thrive.

In the same vein, the Managing Director of Optimus Bank, Dr Ademola Odeyemi stated that Optimus Bank is a “beacon of hope” and “a catalyst for new opportunities.” He said, “We are committed to empowering individuals and enterprises and to being a positive force in the society. Customer obsession is the core of our existence. At Optimus Bank we embrace innovation and we assure our customers of our support through every stage of their journey.”

Speaking on the unique strength of Optimus Bank and how it plans to leverage it’s strength into helping the bank succeed in the coming years despite the tough competition in the banking space, Ademola Odeyemi said, “The banks in the sector today also started at a time just like Optimus bank and we are not intimidated by their height. On our strength, we have the right people and we have the right technology.

We have the right product for everyone, from children down to people in their seventies. We have for people in Diaspora. We have all sorts of products designed to meet the needs of people. We have young people who are seasoned professionals who understand the language.”

Dr Ademola Odeyemi added that Optimus bank has invested heavily in technology amd cyber security and was ready to protect the interest of its customers. He stressed that the strategic ambition of optimus bank is to play a critical role in financial inclusion.

He mentioned further that this will be done by pioneering digital solutions, Empowering businesses, making use of Agent banking service to reach their customers and seeing to the growth of their staff.

Also speaking at the opening, Yewande Ige, the Executive director of Optimus Bank, encouraged Nigerians to give the bank a trial and “discover the benefits loaded in Optimus bank for customers of every age group including the young people.”

Business

Diesel price increased to N1,462 per litre in June, says NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the average price of automotive gas oil (AGO), also known as diesel, was N1,462.98 per litre in June.

In its automotive gas oil (diesel) price watch for June 2024 on Wednesday, the bureau said this represents an increase of 4.20 percent compared to N1,403.96 reported in May.

“The average retail price of automotive gas oil (diesel) paid by consumers increased by 79.32% on a year-on-year basis from a lower cost of N815.83 per litre recorded in the corresponding month of last year (i.e., June 2023) to a higher cost of N1462.98 per litre in June 2024,” NBS said.

“On a month-on-month basis, an increase of 4.20% was recorded from N1403.96 in the preceding month of May 2024 to an average of N1462.98 in June 2024.

“Looking at the variations in the state prices, the top three states with the highest average price of the product in June 2024 include Niger State (N1979.23), Cross River State (N1920.86), and Taraba (N1742.46).

“Furthermore, the top three lowest prices were recorded in the following states namely, Lagos state (N1210.77), Ogun state (N1239.17), and Abuja (N1240.00).”

Based on zonal representation, the bureau said the north-east zone has the highest average diesel price of N1,659.07; while the south-west zone has the lowest price of N1,280.54.

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CBN announces date to hold MPC meeting

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced its forthcoming monetary policy committee (MPC) meeting.

In a statement on Tuesday, the CBN said its 296th MPC meeting between July 22 and 23.

The committee is the highest policy-making committee of the bank, led by Olayemi Cardoso, CBN governor.

The MPC meeting is set up to review the country’s economic and financial conditions and determine the appropriate monetary policy direction in the short to medium term.

At the last meeting held on May 20 and 21, the committee raised the monetary policy rate (MPR), which benchmarks interest rates from 24.75 percent to 26.25 percent.

The MPC retained the asymmetric corridor at +100 basis points and -300 basis points around the MPR.

The committee also retained the cash reserve ratio (CRR) at 45 percent for deposit money banks and 14 percent for merchant banks.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Cardoso had said the reason for the interest rate hike was to tame inflation.

He also said the committee’s efforts to contain inflation are yielding results.

On July 15, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its consumer price index (CPI) report for June, said Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 34.19 percent in June 2024 — up from 33.95 percent in May.

According to the bureau, the headline inflation rate in June showed an increase of “0.24% points when compared to the May 2024 headline inflation rate”.

NBS also said food inflation surged to 40.87 percent in the month under review as prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages continued to surge.

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Nigerians can now obtain UAE visas, says FG

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Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, says Nigerians can now apply for and obtain visas to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Idris said the federal government has reached an agreement with the UAE to allow Nigerian passport holders to obtain visas for travel to the Arab nation starting today, July 15.

The minister spoke with the State House correspondents in Abuja on Monday, shortly after the weekly federal executive council (FEC) meeting.

He said the agreement includes updated controls and conditions to be fulfilled before the issuance of a UAE visa.

On December 13, 2021, the UAE issued a travel restriction on passengers from Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, citing a surge in the countries’ COVID-19 cases among passengers from the two African nations.

However, TheCable reported the travel ban might not be unconnected with the diplomatic row between Nigeria and the UAE over Air Peace’s flight frequency to the Arab country.

Air Peace had requested a slot of three weekly flights from Nigeria to Sharjah Airport in the UAE, but only one was granted by the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

GCAA said Air Peace should not expect to retain its flight frequency after pulling out of Sharjah Airport; the Nigerian airline, however, denied the claim.

In retaliation for Air Peace’s treatment in the UAE, the federal government dropped Emirate’s slots from 21 to one, leading to the Dubai-based airline suspending all its flights to Nigeria.

In September 2023, the federal government said the airline would resume services in Nigeria, signaling a resolution of the dispute.

The assurance followed a meeting between President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mohamed bin Zayed, president of the United Arab Emirates.

But since the meeting and the federal government’s announcement, Emirates has yet to begin scheduled flight operations.

In April, Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, said Emirates Airlines is prepared to resume flight operations to Nigeria.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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