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NERC asks Nigerians to update prepaid meters before November 2024, says ‘It’s free’



The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has asked prepaid meter users to update their meters before November next year.

NERC announced the development via its X handle (formerly known as Twitter) on Tuesday.

The commission said prepaid meter users might face difficulties in recharging their meters after November 2024 if the required update is not done before the deadline.

While assuring that the update is free of charge, NERC advised users to get in touch with their respective electricity distribution companies (DisCos) for more information on the process.

The electricity regulatory agency also said the update would not tamper with the units in the meters.

“If you have a prepaid meter, it may be time for an update. From November 2024, you may not be able to recharge your meter. However, updating is easy and free. DisCos shall commence issuance of 2 free Key Change Tokens (KCTs) which will update your meter,” the post reads.

“The update will not affect the units in your meter nor will it make your meter run faster than usual. Contact your DisCo for more information.”

Checks by newsmen showed that the required update is referenced on Conlog’s website, one of the meter asset providers licensed by NERC.

According to Conlog, each credit token has a unique token identifier (TID) encoded into the 20 digits to prevent token replay at the meter.

The TID is referenced to a base date of 1993 and will run out of range in November 2024, thus causing the payment meter to stop accepting new tokens.

Conlog said the technical remedy is to reset each meter to reference a new base date by means of entering two special tokens before the November 24, 2024 deadline.


Ibom Air debunks blacklisting claims, says it owns all its aircraft




The Management of Ibom Air has described as misleading and false a newspaper report that the company and 13 other Nigerian airlines have been blacklisted over contract breaches.

Aniekan Essienette, the Group Manager, Marketing and Communication, said this in a statement in Uyo. Essienette noted that the airline was never blacklisted by any lessor, saying, “we did not take any aircraft on lease from any lessor”.

She said it was untrue that the company was blacklisted over issues of contract breach whether by a local or international lessor.

“This false story has severely damaged Ibom Air’s reputation as a business with the highest corporate governance standards.

“We assure all our business partners that Ibom Air does not have any aircraft on lease from any lessor whether foreign or domestic.

“We own all seven aircraft that we operate, and they are all financed by Nigerian banks.”

The manager further said that the airline was in good standing with all of its financiers.

“Our business partners are assured that Ibom Air remains committed to the letter and spirit of any agreement it enters into,” Essienette said.

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Flights suspended at Berlin airport due to IT issues




Flights were suspended at Berlin Brandenburg airport in Germany on Friday morning due to a “technical problem”, a spokeswoman told AFP as several countries reported massive IT disturbances.

“There are delays to check-in and flight operations had to be cancelled until 10:00 am (0800 GMT),” the spokeswoman said, adding however that she could not say when they would resume.

A large-scale outage also wrought havoc on IT systems across Australia on Friday, with the country’s national broadcaster, its largest international airport, and a major telecommunications company reporting issues.

The disruption ahead of the first weekend of the school holidays in Berlin came as US tech giant Microsoft said it was taking “mitigation actions” after service issues.

The UK’s biggest rail operator also warned of possible train cancellations due to IT issues on Friday morning.

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Five platforms offering virtual dollar accounts in Nigeria in 2024




For today’s global workforce, especially freelancers, remote workers, content creators, and global entrepreneurs, receiving USD payments can be a major headache.

High fees and complex international banking procedures are all hurdles to maximizing earned foreign income from completed gigs/jobs or rendered services.

Despite these challenges, some platforms have consistently provided this important service of facilitating foreign transactions by issuing virtual USD accounts.

A virtual USD account is a digital account denominated in US dollars that you can use to manage your finances online. It’s a safe and convenient way to receive payments, make transactions, and store your funds.

In emerging markets, particularly in Nigeria, several platforms are standing out in providing seamless USD financial services. Here are 5 companies still actively offering virtual USD account services in 2024:

  1. Cleva (YC W24)

Cleva offers a seamless way to manage money across borders, making it an essential tool for those looking to earn dollars and grow their wealth. With Cleva, you can easily open a USD account in your name, allowing you to receive payments from clients, employers, and platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, PayPal, and Payoneer.

Additionally, Cleva stands out in the crowded field of virtual USD accounts by providing a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the modern global workforce. Cleva’s virtual USD account allows you to bypass traditional banking hurdles and tap into the global market effortlessly.

Cleva offers capped fees on transactions, ensuring that you get the best value for your money. With an ACH deposit fee of only 0.9% and a flat wire deposit fee of $10, you can rest assured that your transactions are not only seamless but also cost-effective.

Also, Cleva offers free transfers to other Cleva users as well as a virtual USD card for easy spending, plus competitive exchange rates. Sign up here and experience the future of online USD banking.

  1. Bitnob

Bitnob is a money transfer app that helps users send and receive money within African countries and globally.

Furthermore, users can easily buy, sell, and autosave bitcoin on the app, while it also facilitates remittance, and cross-border transactions with the ability to send and receive money across eight African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin Republic, and Togo.

Specifically, Bitnob says its customers can make unlimited online payments using its virtual dollar card.

  1. ALAT by Wema

ALAT is a digital-only brand operated by Wema Bank, a commercial bank active in all of Nigeria. It offers a complete banking package, with a bank account, physical debit card, savings, and loans, and it currently offers one of the prominent virtual card services in Nigeria.

Users on ALAT can create a new account in less than five minutes, enabling them to access loans and an automated savings platform.

It also offers an array of cards facilitating local and international payments. Its dollar credit card and virtual dollar cards help its users make payments for subscriptions, including YouTube while paying for services on international websites.

  1. Eversend

Eversend facilitates cross-border payments across Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

The app’s multi-currency wallets and currency exchange offers the users money exchange rates between USD, EUR, ZAR, GBP, NGN, UGX, GHS, KES, and RWF. Pay your bills using online banking or move money to a mobile money or bank account.

Eversend’s virtual dollar card allows users to make international payments for services across several global platforms.

  1. Chipper Cash

Chipper Cash is a cross-border payments app, where over 4 million people send and receive money in and between Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, the United States of America, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, and the UK.

Chipper Cash provides a reloadable virtual visa card that can be used anywhere online for payment. Getting a virtual card first requires you to have a Chipper Cash account and the card works in the same way your local bank card works online.

The platform is growing in popularity due to its simplicity and efficiency in sending and receiving money globally.

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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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