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Airtel, Google to Enhance Internet Experience

Airtel Nigeria has announced a partnership with Google to unveil Mobile Data Platform (MDP), a new feature that enhances and digitalises the journey of customers’ data purchase, utilisation and management in Nigeria.

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According to both organisations, the newly introduced MDP, which is only available to Android Operating System (OS) users, offers a personalised experience and provides interface for data customers on the Airtel network to purchase data plans, check data balance and receive threshold notifications seamlessly without a need for memorising codes or short words.

To access the service, Airtel customers with Android OS are required to go to settings on their Android device, then Google option where they will find the MDP to purchase as well as manage data plan and offers.

Commenting on the launch of the Mobile Data Platform, Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Dinesh Balsingh, said “Airtel is delighted to be the first telecoms operator in Nigeria and Africa to partner with Google to deliver an innovative service that is offering true freedom and also putting real power in the hands of telecoms consumers as they define their data journey and experience.”

Balsingh added: “At Airtel, we are deeply passionate about making life simpler, smarter, easier and better for our customers. Indeed, the launch of the MDP is a huge step forward in empowering telecoms consumers to become more productive and successful in their professional and personal endeavours.”

Paxful Expands, Adds Tether to its Platform

Global peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, Paxful, has announced the addition of Tether (USDT) to its platform. The inclusion of USDT, the world’s largest stablecoin by market value, will assist users in combating a volatile market, protecting their assets, and expanding their portfolio.

The industry has seen a surging demand for a stable digital currency amidst fears of an economic recession in both traditional and digital markets. In the last 12 months, Tether has established itself as a champion amongst stablecoins, with a market capitalization of over $13 billion.

CEO, and co-founder of Paxful, Ray Youssef, said: “We consider this a big step for us since this is the first cryptocurrency other than bitcoin we have on the platform. We always listen to our users. We understand that they go to Paxful for wealth generation and turn to crypto for stability when their national currency is affected by inflation. We hope that this can aid them to be more in control of their finances.”

The addition comes with a hedging option, allowing users to instantly convert BTC to USDT and vice versa, helping the users protect their funds during bitcoin price fluctuations.

The company also plans to enable USDT trading on the platform. Same as with the bitcoin (BTC) trading in the Paxful marketplace, users can buy and sell USDT with over 300 payment methods. The USDT balance is accessible via the wallet page, where the current market price for both coins is displayed. The launch of this feature marks Paxful’s first step towards potentially adding new cryptocurrencies in the future.

The company recently announced that the platform, Paxful has hit 4.5 million registered wallets, reached $4.6 billion in trading volume, and reduced dispute levels to under one per cent. Since inception, they have added one million users per year and so far in 2020 and are on track to sign up an additional two million users by the end of the year.

 

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VP Osinbajo calls for provision of capital to grow businesses for long term

The Vice President has stated that the banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting increased & inclusive growth in Nigeria.

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There is need to further deepen the provision of capital that will allow businesses to grow over the long term. This was disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the Bankers Committee on Friday.

He commended the DMBs for their patriotic contributions to sustain growth but called for the need to further deepen the provision of capital that would allow businesses to grow over the long term.

“The banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting increased & inclusive growth in Nigeria. I commend #CBN for the forward-looking support for growth-related initiatives, especially under the economic sustainability plan,” he said.

What you should know

  • On Friday, VP Osinbajo had called for crypto regulation, knowing fully well the role crypto plays in the global financial ecosystem, as he opined that such disruption often made room for progress, according to Nairametrics.
  • Osinbajo also advised the SEC, and Central Bank of Nigeria to create a regulatory road map, while fully appreciating the stance of the CBN, Nigerian SEC, and law enforcement agencies on the possible abuses of crypto assets.
  • The vice president further stressed the important role cryptocurrencies would play in the coming years as they would most likely challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, in ways the world hadn’t yet imagined. He thus stressed the need for Nigeria to be prepared for such a seismic shift.

 

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Sanwo-Olu says construction work on Fourth Mainland Bridge to start end of 2021

Governor Sanwo-Olu has disclosed that the foundation for the proposed 4th Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of 2021.

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The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that the foundation for the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge would be laid before the end of the year 2021.

The execution of the bridge is geared towards improving the transport infrastructure and movement across the state.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was made by Sanwo-Olu during the 16th Executive/Legislative Parley, with the theme: ”A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”, organised by the Office of Civic Engagement.

He pointed out that the promise to construct the Fourth Mainland Bridge is not a political one.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu during the interactive session said, ”We did not politically promise Fourth Mainland Bridge but we are going to do Fourth Mainland Bridge.

”With your prayers and by the grace of Almighty God, we shall turn the sod and lay the foundation for the building and construction of that Fourth Mainland Bridge before the end of this year.

”We are on course and I am sure that the 37km ring road is on track, which will change the face of transportation and movement in Lagos,” the governor said.

The governor also disclosed that his administration was on course to complete the Blue Line and Red Line rail projects which were started several years back, saying the project will be completed and trains will move on the two rail lines before the end of his administration.

He said, ”It is a commitment that we have given to Lagosians and it is a commitment that we will see will come to fruition because we have finished the financial closure and we are excited about that project.’

Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser, Office Of Civic Engagement, Princess Aderemi Adebowale, said that the executive and legislature would discuss extensively the theme of the retreat, “A Consensus Agenda for Rebuilding Lagos”.

While saying that the discussion in the next 48 hours would help to fast track the rebuilding of the state, Adebowale said that they would delve deeply into issues such as Youth Leadership Role, Grassroots Development: a catalyst for growth, and Role of Social Media in Nation Building, among others.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Lagos State Government has shortlisted 6 companies for the design, development, construction, operation, and maintenance of the Fourth Mainland Bridge.
  • This followed the government’s issuance of a Request for Qualification (RFQ) in February this year. The 6 companies were said to have completed the technical and financial capacity requirements.
  • Lagos State said it will announce the selection of the next stage in due course, even as the RFQ will be given to the pre-qualified bidders.
  • The Fourth Mainland Bridge is a 37.4km freeway subdivided into three sections namely Island Section, Lagoon Section and Mainland Section. It will commence from Abraham Adesanya Roundabout in Lekki through Ajah and Langbasa areas, crossing the Ado Badore Road before arriving at the Lagoon shoreline.
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Lagos to totally close Third Mainland Bridge again ahead of full reopening

Lagos State Government has announced a 24hour closure of the Third Mainland Bridge from midnight Friday, February 26.

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The Lagos State Government has announced that it will shut down the Third Mainland Bridge for 24 hours from midnight Friday, February 26 to midnight Saturday, February 27.

The expected total closure of the bridge is to enable the contractors to move the equipment used for its rehabilitation and maintenance ahead of the full reopening of both the Oworonshoki and Adeniji bound lanes open to traffic.

The disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

Oladeinde, therefore, advised motorists approaching the Third Mainland bridge from Ogudu, Alapere and Gbagada to use Ikorodu Road, Jibowu and Yaba, as alternative routes, while Iyana Oworoshoki-bound traffic from Lagos-Island, Iddo, Oyingbo, Adekunle and Yaba are to use Herbert Macaulay Way, Jibowu and Ikorodu Road as alternative routes.

The Commissioner assured that traffic management personnel would be deployed along the affected routes to minimize the impact of the shutdown and address any traffic impediments during the closure.

He was also full of commendation for Lagosians for their cooperation during the prolonged repair works of the bridge and assured that the bridge is now safe for use by everybody.

What you should know

  • The Federal Government had on July 24, 2020, announced the partial shutdown of the Third Mainland Bridge for a period of 6 months for another round of rehabilitation works.
  • This was extended by an extra one month due to disruption caused by the #EndSARS protests last year, when the re-opening date moved to February 15, 2021.
  • The Federal Government later announced that the bridge, which was to reopen on February 15 will no longer be opened as work was expected to commence on the casting of the last expansion joint on the bridge before it will be finally reopened.
  • The 11.8km bridge, which was commissioned in 1990 by the then Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, is the longest of the 3 bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.
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