BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
LONDON — The Champions League talking points ahead of the first-leg matches in the quarterfinals:
MANCHESTER CITY VS. BORUSSIA DORTMUND
While City could hardly be in better shape, Dortmund has been plunged back into uncertainty and self-doubt. City, the runaway Premier League leader, headed into April still on track for an unprecedented “quadruple” of major trophies this season and has won 26 of its last 27 games in all competitions. The Champions League will be the toughest title to claim and there will be much focus on the approach Pep Guardiola takes for the game, with the Spanish coach often accused of overthinking his tactics on the big occasions. Dortmund’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League were dealt a major blow by the 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, which left Edin Terzić’s team seven points behind fourth-place Frankfurt with seven rounds of the Bundesliga to go. Speculation over star striker Erling Haaland’s future has added to the concerns, with City among the many clubs reportedly interested in the Norway international. Dortmund failing to qualify for Europe’s premier competition would add to the likelihood of Haaland’s departure. He is the Champions League’s top scorer this season with 10 goals.
REAL MADRID VS. LIVERPOOL
It is a meeting between two of the aristocrats of European soccer — they have won the competition 19 times between them — and they come into the quarterfinals in good form. Madrid, a 13-time champion, is unbeaten in all competitions since Jan. 30 and is back in the title race in the Spanish league, not least because of the brilliant form of striker Karim Benzema. The Frenchman has scored nine goals in his last seven games, including against Atalanta in the Champions League’s last 16. Liverpool’s improvement has been more recent — and chiefly due to the return of Fabinho to central midfield after a spell filling in at center back as well as Diogo Jota after injury. The soon-to-be-deposed English champions have kept clean sheets in their last three games but there are still concerns about their defense, especially at center back where understudies Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips are holding the fort. Real Madrid will remain without the injured Sergio Ramos, but there’s a chance Eden Hazard may return to the squad after another injury layoff.
BAYERN MUNICH VS. PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN
With a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title almost certain, Bayern Munich can turn its full attention to defending its Champions League crown. Bayern opened a seven-point gap in the Bundesliga with a win over closest rival Leipzig on Saturday and promptly set its sights on Wednesday’s visit from PSG. Parisian Kingsley Coman scored the only goal as Bayern beat the French team in last year’s final, and he may have to do it again with top striker Robert Lewandowski out with a knee injury. Leon Goretzka stepped up with the winner against Leipzig, with Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich both involved. All three have been outstanding this season and will be tasked with making up for Lewandowski’s absence. PSG will be without its two best midfielders. Marco Verratti has contracted the coronavirus for the third time and the tough-tackling Leandro Paredes is suspended for the first leg. Danilo Pereira and Idrissa Gueye could find themselves under a lot of pressure to stop Bayern from dictating the game, so PSG’s wide players will probably have to drop back and help out.
PORTO VS. CHELSEA
Porto is the most surprising team in the last eight after eliminating Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in the round of 16. The Portuguese club is trying to make it to the semifinals for the first time since winning the European trophy in 2004. It also was a quarterfinalist in 2019, being eliminated against eventual champion Liverpool. Chelsea has drastically improved since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as manager in January. It was unbeaten in 14 games under the German — including back-to-back wins over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League’s last 16 — until a stunning 5-2 loss to lowly West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday. Chelsea had previously conceded only two goals in Tuchel’s tenure. Defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante is set to miss the game after sustaining a knee injury during the international break.
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VATICAN CITY — Christianity’s most joyous feast day was celebrated worldwide with faithful sitting far apart in pews and singing choruses of “Hallelujah” through face coverings on a second Easter Sunday conditioned by pandemic precautions.
From Protestant churches in South Korea to St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, worshippers followed national or local regulations aimed at preventing the transmission of the coronavirus. In some traditionally Roman Catholic countries in Europe, Easter featured a new ritual: lining up to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
A local soccer team in Lyon, France, opened its stadium as a vaccination center for the long holiday weekend. Some 9,000 people were expected to receive their shots there over three days as the French government tries to speed up the pace of vaccinations amid a fresh outbreak of infections.
Inside St. Peter’s Basilica, the 200 or so faithful who were allowed to attend looked lost in the cavernous cathedral. Normally, thousands would attend the Mass celebrated by Francis, and a crowd would gather outside in St. Peter’s Square, with more than 100,000 sometimes assembling to receive the pope’s special Easter blessing after Mass.
The pontiff sounded weary as he noted that pandemic worries and protective measures have crimped religious holiday traditions in many places and at times kept some faithful from engaging in public worship.
“We pray that these restrictions, as well as all restrictions on freedom of worship and religion worldwide, may be lifted and everyone be allowed to pray and praise God freely,” Francis said.
In Jerusalem, the Easter service at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was celebrated by Latin Patriarch Pierbattista, the senior Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land. The site in Jerusalem’s Old City is where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and rose from the dead.
Israel has launched one of the world’s most successful vaccination campaigns, allowing the country to reopen restaurants, hotels and religious sites. Israel captured the Old City, home to holy sites of the three Abrahamic religions, in a 1967 war and later annexed it in a move unrecognized by the international community.
In South Korea, Yoido Full Gospel Church, the biggest Protestant church in the country, allowed only about 2,000 church members to attend Easter service, or about 17% of the capacity of church’s main building. Masked church members sang hymns, clapped hands and prayed as the service was broadcast online and by Christian TV channels.
Seoul’s Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral, the biggest Catholic church in South Korea, limited Mass attendance to 20% capacity and livestreamed the Easter service on YouTube.
Intent on tamping down weeks of surging infections, the Italian government ordered people to stay home during the three-day weekend except for essential errands like food shopping or exercise. Premier Mario Draghi did grant a concession. permitting one visit to family or friends per day in residents’ home regions over the long weekend, which includes the Little Easter national holiday on Monday.
Italy has permitted religious services for months as long as capacity is limited and participants wear masks. Early on in the pandemic, the country’s churches were closed to group services and only open for individual prayer.
Attending a Saturday night Easter Vigil Mass is a popular practice for many in Italy. But with the nation under a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, churches moved up the traditional starting times by a couple of hours. Church bells in Italy summoned people to services unusually early, tolling before sunset in some places.
A similar scenario played out in France, which is reeling from a frightful uptick in COVID-19 cases that are overtaking already strained hospitals. Some French churches held their traditional midnight Easter services just before dawn Sunday instead of on Saturday night because of a nationwide 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
AP reporters from around the world contributed.
The availability of the data set was first reported by Business Insider. According to that publication, it has information from 106 countries including phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, and email addresses.
In December 2019, a Ukrainian security researcher reported finding a database with the names, phone numbers and unique user IDs of more than 267 million Facebook users — nearly all U.S.-based — on the open internet. It is unclear if the current data dump is related to this database.
“This is old data that was previously reported on in 2019,” the Menlo Park, California-based company said in a statement. “We found and fixed this issue in August 2019.”
LONDON, UK / ACCESSWIRE / March 31, 2021 / With the ending of Q1 2021, UEC announces the First Arab Cryptocurrency. United Emirate Coin is an open source, anonymous peer-to-peer Ethereum based Coin carefully developed by Industry experts based in the Middle East. United Emirate Coin is a global payment network that is fully decentralized without central authorities which enable people to store and invest their wealth in a digital Currency.
The total supply is just 20M making it a huge potential for astronomical increase in price value making investors tons of profits trading and holding UEC. Besides the UAE, cryptocurrencies have been banned outright in Algeria, Iraq, Morocco, and Libya. Jordan has warned the public against the use of bitcoin. Even where a ban is in place, internet postings suggest people often flout the law. Despite the ban in Morocco a blockchain summit was held there last month and a US private equity firm is planning a controversial project to build a wind farm to mine bitcoin in the occupied Western Sahara. United Emirate Coin aims to bridge the gap and encourage the usage of cryptocurrency in day to day financial transactions in the middle east and other Arab nations.
Kuwait does not recognize cryptocurrencies for official commercial transactions and prohibits the banking sector and state-controlled companies from trading them. Yet in January 2018 the CBK announced it would issue an e-currency, which it distinguished from a virtual currency, and in July a Kuwaiti financial firm announced the first ever blockchain-powered transaction in the country.
In Lebanon the Banque du Liban issued warnings about the dangers of cryptocurrencies and then last year announced it would launch its own. Media reports suggest some small businesses in Lebanon already accept Cryptocurrency.
Bahrain and Qatar both bar their citizens from engaging in any kind of activities involving cryptocurrencies locally but allow them to do so outside their borders. Qatar has its first Blockchain conference in October. Financial regulators from Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai are among a network of regulators collaborating with the UK Financial Conduct Authority to increase regulatory cooperation and explore policy issues arising from fintech.
United Emirate Coin (UEC) works with an unprecedented level of transparency that most people are not used to dealing with. All Bitcoin transactions are public, traceable, and permanently stored in the United Emirate Coin(UEC) network. United Emirate Coin(UEC) addresses are the only information used to define where bitcoins are allocated and where they are sent. These addresses are created privately by each user’s wallets. However, once addresses are used, they become tainted by the history of all transactions they are involved with. Anyone can see the balance and all transactions of any address. Since users usually have to reveal their identity in order to receive services or goods, United Emirate Coin(UEC) addresses cannot remain fully anonymous. As the block chain is permanent, it’s important to note that something not traceable currently may become trivial to trace in the future.
Why United Emirate Coin (UEC) is Useful?
Send and receive payments anywhere in the World quickly. Quick block execution time, ensure unparalleled speed to conventional remittance and payment system.
United Emirate Coin is currently built and managed on the world’s best crypto blockchain which is the Ethereum network.
Wallet encryption provides protection from wallet-stealing viruses and trojans as well as allows user to secure the wallet, so that user can view transactions and the account balance.
UEC uses decentralized blockchain transaction technology, so no centralized third party to trust. Transactions are performed directly between the users.
On the one hand, crypto currency is entirely anonymous. On the other, it is completely transparent and trackable.
It is anonymous in the sense that user can hold a crypto address without revealing anything about user’s identity in that address. One person could hold multiple addresses, and in theory, there would be nothing to link those addresses together, or to indicate that the person owned them.
Sending and receiving virtual currency is like writing under a pseudonym. If an author’s pseudonym is ever linked to their identity, everything they ever wrote under that pseudonym will be linked to them. United Emirate Coin seeks to serve as the perfect means of anonymous payment for residents in the Arab world and the world at large.
Company: United Emirate Coin
Contact: Hassan Ahmed
Telephone: +44 203 807 6881
SOURCE: United Emirate Coin
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NEW DELHI: Cryptocurrency was the asset class of financial year 2020-21 as it surged sharply, followed by crude oil, which trumped all other commodities thanks to a sudden price dip in March last year.
The pandemic that struck in March upended the price chart for many counters but also gave traders an opportunity to make the best of the crisis and subsequent recovery.
In the base metals pack, all counters gave solid returns as the demand for metals rose following the opening up of the economy. Energy counters along with some agri commodities also created wealth in the fiscal gone by.
Returns from equities and equity heavy mutual funds were the highlight of the year as Sensex and Nifty suffered from a historic crash and then recovered to record highs during the year. Mid and smallcap stocks also came into their own.
Bitcoin was the asset to hold during FY21 as the cryptocurrency surged nearly over 800 per cent during the year. Other coins also saw a similar demand. Unlike the last few bull runs in cryptocurrencies, this year’s rally was different. It had a few fundamental reasons to appreciate.
According to industry watchers, acceptance and demand from global institutional investors along with the third halving of bitcoin (a phenomena where the number of daily mined bitcoin gets cut in half), which is a supply shock event, led to the massive rally. Eventually, bitcoin prices passed the $60,000 mark for the first time. Analysts believe this rapid rise may continue in the next year as well but they also said less savvy investors should be cautious.
“What goes up must come down, so don’t get distracted by price guessing. Never blindly chase a rally in any market. When, not if, this rally corrects, we can guess that fresh buying will give support to bitcoin. However, buyers like bargains, so they may let the price drop a lot before pushing it back up. Only trade with money you can lose,” said Vikram Rangala, Chief Marketing Officer at ZebPay.
Precious metals: Silver outperforms
Silver was in great demand during the year, largely driven by industrial demand and thanks to a push towards renewable energy. Silver is used in solar panels. The metal advanced 73 per cent in FY21, from Rs 36,871 per kg at the end of March 2020 to Rs 63,666 on Tuesday. The white metal hit a record high of Rs 78,000 in August but corrected later.
Gold, which is used as a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation especially in times of a crisis, rose 8 per cent to Rs 44,331 per 10 grams. It also hit its record high of Rs 56,191, but slid as bond yields rose. Tax cuts on gold also put pressure on prices.
“There should be a deeper bottom for gold. The US treasury is again trading higher and we expect more rise in that and dollar index. The new level should be Rs 42,000, which could be a good level to buy,” said Vandana Bharti of SMC Global Securities.
She said there could be a scenario when gold may fall below Rs 40,000. “Nobody is talking about it but I am sensing that for a very brief period of time we may see it but people won’t get the opportunity to encash it as there will be strong buying at that level,” she added.
Base metals: Demand outstrip supply
On the back of demand recovery, the base metal pack saw its fortune turn as prices rose. Compared to last fiscal end prices, copper surged 75 per cent, tin 46 per cent, zinc 45 per cent, nickel 36 per cent and aluminium 32 per cent. Lead underperformed, rising just 17 per cent.
Supply and demand have been off balance since Q2FY20 as a demand pick-up after pandemic-related closures outpaced ramp ups in production and mining, with companies battling technical problems and growing order backlogs. This has led to a sharp rise in prices.
Base metals also got a boost from special focus on infra spending by the government but rising rates have lately concerned government authorities. Moreover, rising consumer discretionary demand is also leading to a surge in prices.
“The US will release details on the infrastructure spending package that could be between $3 and $4 trillion. Focus now shifts to Mfg. PMI data from major economies due later this week; wherein upbeat reading may further fan demand optimism. Furthermore, the downside in metals pack may also be capped amid expectation of accommodative stance by central banks of major economies,” said Kotak Securities in a note.
Agro commodities: Jute stands out
Jute was the clear winner among agricultural commodities as it surged 25 per cent in the last one year to Rs 6,230 per 100 kg. One particular reason for the rally in the golden fiber was the Cabinet nod for 100 per cent jute packaging for food grains and 20 per cent for sugar.
Cardamom, which is used as spice in many cuisines, plunged 44 per cent as production is expected to have increased 78 per cent in the year. Wheat also struggled because of record rabi produce.
How different commodities fared in FY21
Guargum and guarseed, which are used in drilling of crude oil wells, eventually recovered as demand for petroleum surged. They added 6 and 7 per cent, respectively. Sugar and mentha oil, however, remained subdued, falling in low double digits.
Energy: Crude oil triples
For the most traded and perhaps the most important energy commodity, crude oil, the year was unprecedented. In the international markets, at one point prices of crude futures dipped below zero, shocking even the pundits.
The prices, however, have now recovered sharply thanks to production cuts and rise in demand. The counter has nearly tripled since March 2020. In fact, it has started to disrupt fiscal maths of import dependent countries like India.
“Prices will get pressurized in the coming quarter the deteriorating near-term demand outlook in the face of still hampered refineries, surging interest and renewed European lockdowns and can push WTI prices back to $50 if demand recovery gets stalled and vaccine efficiency comes into question,” said Navneet Damani and Shweta Shah of Motilal Oswal.
Natural gas, prices for which fluctuate largely due to weather patterns in the US and Europe and related demand, returned 50 per cent in fiscal 2021.
Residential properties back in demand
Demand for residential properties recovered, after a multi-year lull in the real estate market. Meanwhile, commercial properties, especially warehouses continued to give good returns as e-commerce boomed.
The government intervention with unlocking and a series of reforms boosted sentiment for the sector. A combination of low-interest rates and reduction in stamp duty resulted in monthly sales of nearly 10,000 units for Mumbai consistently since September.
“Homebuyers realized the importance of a spacious home with state-of-the-art amenities, and fiber connectivity that can double up as an office space. We have already started witnessing consolidation in the sector, developers with scale and strong books will emerge stronger post the pandemic. The broader economic recovery is expected to pick up momentum and help most sectors. FY22 will be a year of growth for the sector, with the return of pricing power,” said Krish Raveshia, CEO at Azlo Realty.
Equity: Eye popping returns
For equities, the year was of a great turmoil and record breaking run. Indices and stocks crashed to their multi-year lows in March only to recover to create a string of fresh record highs by the end of the year. And, for a change, small and midcap indices outperformed their larger peers.
BSE Sensex has climbed 70 per cent so far in the fiscal while BSE Midcap has risen 91 per cent. But the BSE Smallcap index, which has over 650 actively traded constituents, has given an eye-popping 114 per cent return in the last 12 months.
Massive money supply, especially from outside India, pushed indices higher. Hopes of a swift recovery, vaccine rollout and good earnings growth were other major reasons behind such a spectacular rally. Nifty is now trading at a record high valuation.
“With fresh restrictions and faster vaccination we can expect sentiment to remain positive at the start of the new fiscal year. The earnings season will also kick in from the second week of April which could turn out to be the driver for stocks. Logically, markets should see some uptick from the first week of April. If this does not materialize at the start of April then we could see Nifty50 drifting towards 13,500-13,600,” said Rusmik Oza, EVP, Head of Fundamental Research at Kotak Securities.
Metals were the best performing block, with BSE Metals rising 150 per cent in 12 months. BSE IT and BSE Auto were other sectors that rallied over 100 per cent. Meanwhile, BSE Capital Goods also gained 93 per cent as white goods makers shot up with the government focusing on infra and Make in India initiatives.
Mutual funds: Thematic schemes lead
Whatever the strategy, almost all mutual fund schemes gave good to stellar returns in 2020, with some of them returning over 100 per cent in the last one year. Contra funds were picks of the fiscal year. Dividend yield funds also outperformed.
In the equity category, funds investing in different themes and broader markets outpaced others. ICICI Prudential Commodities Fund, ICICI Prudential Technology Fund, Kotak Small Cap Fund, PGIM India Midcap Opportunities Fund and Nippon India Small Cap Fund were the top five performing funds, rising 124-170 per cent.
In the debt fund category, low duration funds shone and credit risk funds again came to the fore and outperformed their peers. JM Low Duration Fund, Franklin India Low Duration Fund, Franklin India Credit Risk Fund, Aditya Birla Sun Life Short Term Fund and Baroda Credit Risk Fund were top performers with enviable 10-27 per cent returns.
On February 5, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released a circular addressed to banks and other financial institutions with the directive that transactions in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payment for cryptocurrency exchanges were prohibited.
The CBN further instructed all banks and other financial institutions to identify individuals or entities that transact in cryptocurrency or operate cryptocurrency exchanges and close their accounts.
That CBN letter elicited varied reactions from the Nigerian public with many expressing concern about the potential negative effect it could have on the country’s growing cryptocurrency market and innovation in financial technology.
Some stakeholders supported the ban while others questioned the goals of the policy, which they saw as stifling the livelihood of young Nigerians using cryptocurrencies to escape poverty and unemployment.
The memo, however, created interest in some Nigerians who were hitherto unaware of the existence or workings of cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrency is described as a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange where individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of computerised database.
It usually does not exist in physical form like paper money and is not issued by a central monetary authority. It uses decentralised control as opposed to centralised digital and central banking systems.
The first decentralised cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was created in 2009 by presumably pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto. In April 2011, Namecoin was created and in October 2011, Litecoin was released.
The most popular cryptocurrency transacted in Nigeria is Bitcoin, but others like Dogcoin and Ethereum are also dominant while more cryptocurrencies continue to be created from time to time.
Many youths in Nigeria have found transactions in cryptocurrencies profitable and rewarding, thus increasing its popularity.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are unregulated in many countries and their legal status is unclear. This implies that financial safety is really not guaranteed.
Converting local currencies to and from bitcoin, for instance, relies on informal brokers. Prices are usually volatile, and buying and selling are a complex processes that demand technical knowledge.
In 2017, the CBN had earlier warned that cryptocurrencies were not legal tender, and that investors were unprotected.
Findings reveal that Nigeria has accounted for crypto transaction worth N566 million dollars in the last five years.
According to the estimates, out of the top 10 countries for trading volumes Nigeria ranked third after USA and Russia in 2020, generating more than 400 million dollars worth of transactions.
Some stakeholders have urged the apex bank to revisit the ban on cryptocurrency transactions and see digital currencies as another tool for economic growth.
The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) advised the CBN to carry out a comprehensive study on the workings of cryptocurrencies to check its excesses.
According to Laoye Jaiyeola, Chief Executive Officer of the NESG, though checking excesses in its transaction was a challenge that people were grappling with across the world, cryptocurrency has come to stay.
“Cryptocurrency transaction is a challenge that people grapple with all over the world. While we institute the ban, we should undertake a comprehensive study to understand how it works.
“We have been told that they can easily be deployed to fund criminal activities, but it has come to stay, and if we are going to allow it in future, we should start learning about it now,” he advised.
In July 2020, popular Nigerian social media celebrities, Ramon Abbas (Hushppuppi) and Olalekan Ponle (Woodberry) were arrested in Dubai by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on charges of fraud and money laundering.
According to an affidavit by the FBI, criminal proceeds from both Woodberry and Hushpuppi were converted into bitcoin, and will most likely be untraceable.
This further emphasised how convenient it could be for criminals to hide their financial crimes using cryptocurremncies.
All around the world, the decentralised nature of cryptocurrency that has made it an attraction for some investors has also made it a nightmare for regulators.
CBN, in justifying the ban, explained that cryptocurrencies transaction was devoid of proper regulation and prone to financial crimes.
Osita Nwanisobi, CBN Acting Director of Communications said that the directive was only a reminder of an earlier directive in 2017 banning cryptocurrency transactions.
He said that the anonymous nature of cryptocurrency, which made it prone to financial crimes, justified the ban.
“It is important to state that cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies issued by largely anonymous entities and secured by cryptography.
“Cryptography is a method of encrypting and hiding codes that prevent oversight, accountability and regulation,” he said.
He clarified that the directive on cryptocurrency was not unique to Nigeria as countries like China, Canada, Taiwan, Indonesia, Egypt, Morocco, among others have instituted similar restrictions on its transactions.
He said that such currencies remained illegal in Nigeria because they were issued by entities that were neither licensed nor legal.
Sen. Tokunbo Abiru, representing Lagos East Senatorial District, support the ban in transaction of the Cryptocurrency in the country.
He, however, suggested that major stakeholders on cryptocurrency transaction be invited to a public hearing to appraise its advantages and its excesses.
At a joint session of relevant Senate committees on Feb. 23, Mr Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor further explained reasons for restricting financial institutions from engaging in crypto transactions.
Emefiele gave the assurance that the directive was not inimical to the development of technology-driven payment system in Nigeria.
He said that the Nigerian payment system had evolved significantly over the past decade, boosted by reforms driven by the CBN.
“Cryptocurrency has no place in our monetary system at this time, and cryptocurrency transactions should not be carried out through the Nigerian banking system,’’ he said.
However, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, speaking at a recent CBN Bankers Committee Economic Summit, called for the regulation of cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria rather than an outright ban.
Osinbajo urged the apex bank to develop a robust regulatory system to check such transactions.
“Rather than adopt a policy that prohibits cryptocurrency operations in the Nigerian banking sector, we must act with knowledge and not fear and develop a robust regulatory regime that is thoughtful and knowledge-based.
“There is no question that blockchain technology generally and cryptocurrencies, in particular, will in the coming years challenge traditional banking, including Central banking, in ways that we cannot yet imagine.
“We need to be prepared for that seismic shift. And it may come sooner than later,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking at the 30th seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in Abuja recently, CBN Deputy Governor, Adamu Lamtek, said the bank did not ban cryptocurrency activity in the country.
Lamtek said that CBN only prohibited transactions on cryptocurrencies in the Nigerian banking sector.
He said: “the CBN did not place restrictions from use of cryptocurrencies, and we are not discouraging people from trading in them. What we have done was to prohibit transactions on cryptocurrencies in the banking sector.”
By Abankula/ PM NEWS
Almost three weeks after Nigerian doctorate student, Najeebat Sule was shot dead in Philadelphia, United States, the police remain clueless about the gunman.
No arrest has been made as the gunman remains at large.
Najeebat, a runner-up in Miss Nigeria International pageant in 2019, was shot by a lone gunman while sitting in her car, almost in front of her family’s home.
She was 24 and had just earned a Masters degree in public health at West Chester University.
She was pursuing a doctorate, reports said.
Reports said she was killed shortly before 6pm on March 12, just steps away from her residence in the 8800 block of Frankford Avenue.
Nearly three weeks later, police have not found a motive and have made no arrests, leaving Sule’s family and friends searching for answers.
Her parents are now also in hiding out of fear for their lives.
‘I can’t think of anything that would make anyone want to kill her,’ Sule’s close friend Habibat Magaji, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Magaji was among the last people to have seen Sule alive before she was gunned down.
The two women had spent the night before at Magaji’s home, eating snacks and watching Netflix together.
Less than 24 hours later, Sule was sitting in her gray Toyota Corolla, exchanging text messages with Magaji, when an unidentified man walked up to the vehicle with a gun drawn and shot her several times.
Sule’s father, Adewale Sule, heard the gunfire and emerged from the house just in time to see the suspect fire the last of the shots at his daughter.
‘I saw the guy shooting my daughter. He shot the last round and I pursued him,’ said the father. ‘He ran back to his car.’
Najeet was rushed to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 30 minutes later.
Her mother, Tawakalitu Sule, said she last heard from Najeet less than two hours before the shooting, when her daughter asked her when she was going to be home.
‘All of my children have been crying every day because of their big sister. They really miss her. I miss my daughter,’ she said.
The inauguration will mark the first-ever transition between elected presidents in Niger’s six decades of independence from France — a historic moment that has been widely praised.
But the Sahel country’s instability and insecurity have been deeply underscored in the runup to Friday’s ceremony.
In the early hours of Wednesday, after gunfire broke out near the presidency in the capital Niamey, the government announced an “attempted coup” had been thwarted — a “cowardly and regressive act which sought to threaten democracy and the state of law”.
The alleged coup leader is an air force officer in charge of security at Niamey’s air base and is being “actively sought”, a source within Niger’s security services told AFP on Wednesday.
Another security source said “a few members of the army” had been behind the coup but had been prevented from approaching the presidential palace by the elite Presidential Guard.
“Some arrests” were made, the source said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was among worried foreign leaders, calling the armed forces “to strictly abide by their constitutional obligations”.
World’s poorest country
Bazoum, 60, is a former interior minister and right-hand man of outgoing president Mahamadou Issoufou, 68, who has voluntarily stepped down after two five-year terms.
Bazoum won a runoff vote for the presidency in February with 55.6 percent of the ballot, according to official results contested by his opponent, Mahamane Ousmane.
But his most formidable rival, former premier Hama Amadou, was banned from running because of a conviction for baby trafficking — a charge he has branded politically motivated.
Niger is the poorest country in the world, according to the benchmark of the UN’s 189-nation Human Development Index (HDI).
The West African nation has suffered four coups in its history, most recently a February 2010 putsch that toppled then-president Mamadou Tandja.
It has also been ravaged by repeated jihadist attacks, from insurgents who have advanced from Mali in the west and Nigeria in the southeast.
More than 300 people have been killed in three attacks in the west since the start of the year.
Ogudu Oluwanishola, the mother of Wizkid’s first child, has revealed the depth of love her heart holds for Davido’s estranged fiancée, Chioma.
Amid the ongoing allegation of the crashing of Davido and Chioma’s love ship, the first baby mama of grammy award winning star joined other well-meaning folks as well as fans to express immense love for Mama Ifeanyi.
Shola, who can most certainly relate with what Chioma may be going through being a baby mama to a celebrity, said she finds herself though unconsciously praying for Mama Ifeanyi and defending her too.
She said the connection with Chioma is purely spiritual.
According to her: “The love I have for Chioma is inexplicable.. Weird but I just find myself unconsciously praying for her, defending her anytime and anywhere … So spiritual lol..
“But May God continue to Bless and Strengthen her…and do that which is best for her now and forever. AMEN.”
Chef, model and estranged girlfriend/fiancée of Davido, Chioma Avril Rowland, popularly known as Chef Chi or Chioma, has finally removed all the pictures of her baby’s daddy from her Instagram page.
Davido is rumoured to have ditched Chioma and was spotted kissing Mya Yafai in viral pictures last week.
Mama Ifeanyi decided to take a big step by ridding her Instagram wall of all of Davido’s pictures.
However, she graciously left one, which is the picture displaying the DMW boss with their son, Ifeanyi.
The picture was used as the cover photo for the singer’s album “A better time.”