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Zenith Bank Unveils Easy Online Dubai Application

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By Mark Mayah, Lagos

Zenith Bank Plc has introduced a new feature on its internet banking platform that allows customers apply for Dubai Visa and make the associated Visa fee payment effortlessly.

According to the bank, the new offering is aimed at creating a more convenient and efficient way for Nigerians to apply for Dubai Visa, as a large number of people travel there several times each year.

Customers simply need to log on to the Zenith Bank Internet Banking Platform, select the Dubai Visa tab under the payment menu, fill out their personal information, upload a passport photograph, 6 months bank statement and international passport data page with a minimum of 6 months’ validity from proposed travel date and submit their application.

The Visa fees would be instantly charged to the customer’s account and he/she would be notified of the status of his/her visa application within 36 hours.

Zenith Bank Plc is recognized as one of the most innovative financial institutions in Nigeria and was voted the most customer-focused bank in Nigeria for the Retail and SME segments in the 2018 KPMG Annual Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS).

Meanwhile, Economic experts have lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on its plan to put forex restriction on imported dairy products to the country.

Some economic experts who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday said the move would boost economy of the country.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele announced the plan to put forex restriction on dairy products during the last Monetary Policy (MPC) meeting held on July 23 in Abuja.

Emefiele said the planned policy to put restriction on sale of forex for the importation of milk from the Nigerian foreign exchange market was aimed at promoting local production of milk in the country.

Reacting, a financial expert, and Managing Director of Cyber1 Systems Network International, Mr Momoh Aliyu said the policy was good and would boost the economy.

Aliyu explained that backward integration had always been the Federal Government’s dream on foods and beverages.

He said currently, Nigeria Brewery was heavily investing in backward integration by empowering farmers to produce grains locally.

“With the Nigeria population and its rate of consumption of dairy products, it is long over due to enhance and encourage local productions of dairy products for economic and health reasons.

“Base on statistic released by CBN Nigeria currently spends between 1.2billion dollars and 1.5 billion dollars annually for diary importation, this value alone is enough to enhance dairy production’s infrastructures, research and local subsidy.

“From what I know, animal scientists in Nigeria have been carrying out some researches, this is the time to use their findings to assist this planned policy for local  production of milk” he said.

Aliyu added there was never a right time in economic and nation building hence the right time was always now.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had always been in the forefront of local production, hence the need for all Nigerians to support him and promote domestic products.

Another economic expert, Mr Tope Fasua, also commended CBN for the proposed policy, adding that the policy would help reposition the sub-sector.

“We cannot be laissez faire in everything. We do have a problem with cattle rearing and I believe this may help in addressing the problem.

“It shouldn’t be too much of a big deal to produce milk in Nigeria. The CBN may also not have to put everything in place before the ban is affected.

“Food, shelter, clothing and internal security are irreducible minimums we must produce for ourselves and if we do, we can double our economy” he said.

He urged private sector players in the country to get involved and bridge the gaps by supporting the policy.

Business News

Ooni partners Chinese company to create over 50000 jobs

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The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company to create employment opportunities for over 50,000 indigenes of the state.

Ooni signed the MoU with China Overseas Energy Development Technology Ltd on Tuesday in Ile-Ife under Community and Private Partnership arrangement.

He said that the company would invest in agriculture, green energy, gold, lithium and other mineral resources in Ile-Ife and the state at large.

According to him, the Chinese company will also focus on the development of agriculture; mechanised farming and the production of cocoa in large quantity.

The traditional ruler stated that the MoU would help the indigenes of the state to enjoy unprecedented investment flow, while assuring that the company would not disappoint in the area of funds.

“The partnership we are signing today with China Overseas Technology Development Company Ltd is going to create over 50,000 employment opportunities to Osun indigenes.

“The company would first invest in agriculture and would set up a cocoa processing plant in Ife-ife, which will serve as its agricultural hub.

“The company will farm on over 20,000 hectares of land, generate green energy using solar which is starting from this palace.

“This palace will be powered by solar 100 per cent within the next 30 to 60 days when it is completed,” Ooni stated.

Continuing, Oba Ogunwusi said the future of Nigeria oil and gas lies in lithium, noting that soonest lithium would be the only means to power battery, electric cars among others.

He added that partnership with the Chinese company would be Community and Private Partnership driven which would help to grow the economy at the community level.

Ooni, who emphasised that the investment would be on a large scale both for Osun and the Federal Government, called for the support of all and sundry.

“In Dubai alone, the Chinese company has investment more than 10 billion U.S. dollars. In South Sudan right now, they are investing over 4 billion dollars. They are now ready to invest double of such investment in Nigeria,” he stated.

Speaking at the occasion, Gov. Ademola Adeleke lauded Ooni for the initiative and the management of the Chinese company for agreeing to invest in the state.

Adeleke restated his commitment to promote culture, tourism and entertainment in the state to improve the wellbeing of residents.

In his remarks, Mr Zhang Xiaolin, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, China Oversea Energy Development Ltd, congratulated Ooni on the celebration of Olojo 2023.

Xiaolin also applauded the traditional ruler for partnering with the company and pledged that the company would adhere to the agreement terms. 

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KDSG reiterates commitment to enhance capabilities of KADBUSA’s operations 

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The Director-General (DG), Kaduna Bureau of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (KADBUSA), Joseph Ike, said, Kaduna State Government has reiterated its commitment to enhance the capability of KADBUSA.

The DG stated this on Tuesday at the Capacity-Building Training for operatives of KADBUSA in Kaduna.

He said the training which is in alignment with Gov.

Uba Sani’s administration’s agenda, emphasizes Human Capital Development and Citizens’ Engagement.

“It is also important in diligently carrying out the important mandate of the Bureau.

“This collaborative initiative between KADBUSA, the Kaduna State Ministry of Health, and the  United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime ( UNODC), underscores the commitment to address the pressing issue of substance abuse within the state.

He said by enhancing the capabilities of KADBUSA’s operations staff, the programme aims to make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by drug abuse and addiction.

“This two-day, Capacity-Building Training is a significant step towards a healthier, more secured, and prosperous Kaduna State,” he said.

On his part, Project Officer, UNODC, Dr. Akanidomo Ibanga, called for development of policies that will address the prevalence of drugs abuse in the country.

He said people with drug disorder who come in contact with the criminal justice system, should be treated rather than sent to prison.

According to Dr. Ibanga, 14.3 per cent of Nigerians have used drugs within the past years, “that is 14.4 million people. Now, that is three times more than the global average. We have a serious drugs problem on our hands.

“The Nigerian situation is peculiar because it has the drugs problem but doesn’t have enough treatment facilities to handle the issues of people that have drugs disorder.

“This is even a 2018 data. From that time till date, the number of people using drugs have probably increased.

“From projections from WHO and UNODC, there would be 40 per cent increase in drug use by 2030 in Africa, and Nigeria, being the most populous country in Africa, will have most of the number.

“So, we are saying that, we are sitting on s time bomb, because come 2030, we are talking about 20 per cent prevalence, that is, one in every five people you meet on the street.

“There are certain things we can do to avert this. UNODC has evolved certain responses and developed certain models, which can be run by both National and state governments,” Dr. Ibanga added. 

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Business News

Naira gains at investors, exporters window

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The naira on Tuesday appreciated against the dollar as it exchanged at N745.19 at the Investors and Exporters window.

The local currency gained by 1.38 per cent compared to the N755.27 it exchanged for the dollar on Sept. 29.

The open indicative rate closed at N767.24 to the dollar on Tuesday.

A spot exchange rate of N819.

90 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N745.
19

The naira sold for as low as N700 to the dollar within the day’s trading.

A total of 81.12 million dollars was traded at the investors and exporters window on Tuesday.

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