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NNPC and NIPCO partner to construct 35 CNG stations nationwide

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited says it has partnered with NIPCO Gas Limited to construct 35 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations across the country.

CNG is a fuel that can be used in place of petrol, diesel, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is used in traditional petrol/internal combustion engine automobiles or specifically manufactured vehicles.

Garba Deen Muhammad, NNPC’s spokesperson, in a statement on Thursday, said the partnership aims to provide cheaper alternative fuel to motorists in Nigeria in compliance with President Bola Tinubu’s directive.

“As part of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited’s commitment to providing cheaper alternative fuel to motorists, the company is happy to announce a strategic partnership with NIPCO Gas Limited to deploy compressed natural gas (CNG) stations across the country,” the statement reads.

“This landmark collaboration aims to expand our CNG infrastructure, improve access to CNG, and accelerate the adoption of cheaper and cleaner alternative fuel for buses, cars, and Keke NAPEP, which will significantly reduce the cost of transportation and engender sustainable national economic growth.”

Muhammad said under the NNPC-NIPCO strategic partnership, 35 state-of-the-art CNG stations will be constructed nationwide, including three mother stations.

The NNPC spokesperson said the project would be rolled out in phases.

“Once fully operational, the stations can service over 200,000 vehicles daily, thereby significantly reducing the cost of automobile fuel for Nigerians and the cost of transportation,” he said.

“The first phase, comprising 21 CNG stations, will support intra-city transportation and be ready by the first quarter of 2024; while the second phase, comprising 35 CNG stations, will support inter-city transformation and will be ready by late 2024. This will be further complemented by an additional 56 stations to be deployed by NNPC Retail across the country.

“This initiative will leverage Nigeria’s abundant natural gas resources to bring multiple benefits to Nigerians, including access to cheaper fuel, reduced cost of transportation, reduced carbon emissions, create new business value chains and streams of job opportunities.”

According to the statement, NIPCO Gas Limited is currently operating 14 CNG stations across Nigeria and has converted over 7,000 vehicles to run on CNG.

The national oil firm added that NIPCO’s technical competency and field experience will bolster the initiative’s success and amplify its positive impact on the nation’s economy.

On Tuesday, in a nationwide broadcast, President Tinubu said his administration has made provision to invest N100 billion between now and March 2024 to acquire 3,000 units of 20-seater buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).

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

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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

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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

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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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