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Ghana and South Africa announce visa waiver for ordinary passport holders

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The Ghanaian and South African governments have announced a visa waiver for holders of ordinary passports in the two countries.

The visa waiver agreement is expected to take effect from November 1, 2023.

In a statement on Friday, Ghana’s ministry of foreign affairs and regional integration said citizens of both countries who are travelling can stay in each other’s territory within 90 days without work.

“The ministry of foreign affairs and regional integration wishes to inform the general public that the Republic of Ghana and the Republic of South Africa have entered into an agreement on a visa waiver regime for holders of ordinary passports,” the statement reads.

“Travellers may transit through, depart from and stay in the territory of both countries for a cumulative period of up to ninety (90) days without recourse to work.

“The travelling public is thereby advised to take note of this development.”

In a separate statement, the South African High Commission in Ghana said that ordinary passport holders are expected to apply for visa to enter South Africa at the end of 90-day stay.

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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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