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Nigeria Air remains suspended — it doesn’t benefit us, says FG

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Festus Keyamo, the minister of aviation and aerospace development, says the Nigeria Air project remains suspended.

In 2023, the ministry of aviation, under Hadi Sirika, former minister, unveiled Nigeria Air — three days before the end of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The development had elicited concerns among stakeholders nationwide over the ownership arrangement which gave Ethiopian Airlines a 49 percent equity stake.

The federal government had a 5 percent equity, while a consortium of three Nigerian investors had 46 percent.

Reacting to the deal in June 2023, the house of representatives asked the federal government to suspend the operations of Nigeria Air, describing it as ‘a fraud’.

In August 2023, Keyamo announced that the national carrier project was suspended till further notice.

Providing updates at the ministerial press briefing in Abuja to mark Tinubu’s one year in office, Keyamo said the project is still suspended.

“It remains suspended. It was never Air Nigeria. It was not Air Nigeria. That’s the truth. It was only painted Air Nigeria. It was Ethiopian Airlines trying to flag our flag,” he said.

“If it is so, why not allow our local people to fly our flag. Why bring a foreigner to fly our flag? So nobody should dispute that it was Air Nigeria.

“Air Nigeria must be indigenous, must be wholly Nigerian, and must be for the full benefits of Nigeria, not that 50 percent of the profit is for another country.”

Keyamo reiterated that the ownership structure of the suspended airline is not beneficial to the country.

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First Bank confirms Alebiosu as CEO, Ini Ebong as deputy MD

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First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited has confirmed the appointment of Olusegun Alebiosu as its substantive managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (CEO).

In a statement filed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) on Wednesday, FBN Holdings, the parent company of the lender, said Alebiosu’s appointment was subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He has been serving as the acting managing director of First Bank since April 22.

Alebiosu’s appointment followed the resignation of Adesola Adeduntan, who still had eight months before his contract ended.

FBN Holdings also announced the appointment of Ini Ebong as the deputy managing director (DMD).

Ebong was the bank’s executive director in charge of treasury and international banking from January 2022.

“Before joining FirstBank, he was the head of African Fixed Income and Local Markets Trading, Renaissance Securities Nigeria Limited, the Nigerian registered subsidiary of Renaissance Capital,” FBN Holdings said.

“He also worked with Citigroup for 14 years as Country Treasurer and Sales and Business Head.

“Ini has a passion for market development and has worked actively to drive change and internationalisation of the Nigerian financial markets: foreign exchange, fixed income and securities.

“He has worked closely with regulatory bodies such as the CBN and DMO in assisting with the development of fresh monetary and foreign exchange policies.”

Also, FBN Holdings said Omotunde Alao-Olaifa, the chief financial officer (CFO) of Leadway Holdings, has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Alao-Olaifa is also on the boards of C&I Leasing Pic and Leadway Pensure PFA.

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Tapswap adjourns token allocation date indefinitely

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A popular tap-2-earn app, Tapswap, powered by TON Blockchain, has said the token allocation to users has been indefinitely postponed as the representatives are seeking the best ways to reward the tap-to-earn gamers.

This was disclosed by a Head of Communications, Tapswap, John Robbin, on an X space on Wednesday.

The app, which required users to repeatedly tap the icon in the centre of the Telegram Tapswap bot screen to mine coins, recently gained momentum among Nigerians tapping on their phone screens in pursuit of financial earnings and has amassed over 50 million users since it launched on February 15, 2024.

According to him, the method of token allocation has not yet been ascertained, stressing that the processes cannot be communicated before the allocation.

“The token launch was postponed until July 1. The new date will be communicated.

“We will allocate a significant part of the tokens to the community to retain the tappers. We want you all to be part of the tapswap community.

“We need a token airdrop to be a win-win for all of us. We have started communicating with many exchanges and platforms,” Robbin said.

The app’s communication head also noted that those using the mechanism to farm taps and abuse the game would be banned by running checks from the community members while seeking genuine tappers’ patience.

Speaking on the mining processes, he said, “Just open the app and tap on it; that will give you shares. The more you tap and the more upgrades you do, the more shares you will have when we finalize the tokens on it.

“The more tokens you want to have, the more tapping you have to do.”

On the booster option, which has already ended, the representative said it was not something new, adding, “We have room exponentially faster than we thought, and then to develop the game plan further, we introduced a paid feature to make their capital, but it was not mandated on the users.

“We introduced the limited x2 donation because the new influx of users kept coming in, and we needed them to make something out of it and get a fair allocation at TGE.

“It was a platform that allowed people who joined recently to compete with people who started earlier. It is gone for now, but we are looking forward to using the money we earned from it to improve the game in the future.

“It is all going to our 25 staffers working around the clock to sustain the app. We want to be here for a very long time.”

He also urged people to continue joining the tapping app as there’s time for them to get an appreciable token.

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Naira depreciates at parallel market, official window

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Naira appreciates to N1,419/$ at official market

The naira further depreciated to N1,490 per dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Monday.

The current FX rate represents a 0.34 percent decline from the N1,485 traded on June 14.

Currency traders, also known as bureau de change (BDC) operators, quoted the buying rate at N1,460 and a selling rate of N1,490 — leaving a profit margin of N30.

At the official window, the local currency depreciated by 0.02 percent to N1,483.02 against the dollar on Monday, from N1,482.72 on June 14.

According to the FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the official window, during trading hours, a dollar recorded an intra-day high of N1,514.82 and a low rate of N1,390.

The daily FX market turnover stood at $150.73 million.

At the current FX rates, the gap between the official window and the parallel market is N6.98.

On June 5 Fitch Ratings, a global rating agency, projected naira will end the year at N1,450 to a dollar.

Gaimin Nonyane, director of Middle-East and Africa sovereigns at Fitch Ratings, said despite the volatility experienced by the naira since its floating in June 2023, there are expectations that the fluctuation would reduce by the third quarter (Q3) of 2024.

Nonyane projected a gradual depreciation of the naira in 2025, adding that this depends largely on the FX reform’s momentum.

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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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