COVID-19: UK Airline caught running flight operation, aircraft impounded

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has announced that Nigeria’s aviation authority has caught a United Kingdom registered aviation company running commercial flight services under the pretence of humanitarian operation.

The minister in a tweet on Sunday revealed that the company, Flair Aviation is a UK-registered company approved for humanitarian operations was caught conduction commercial flight.

He noted that the craft has been impounded and the crew under interrogation.

It would be recalled that Nigeria shut its international and local airports on the 23rd of March, due to the COVID19 outbreak, except for emergency and essential flights.

The tweet by the minister reads: “Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations but regrettably we caught them conducting commercial flights. This is callous! The craft is impounded, crew being interrogated. There shall be a maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve.”

Over 1,000 new employees to resume duties at NNPC on Monday

Over 1,000 graduate trainees recently recruited by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will begin work on Monday, according to the corporation.

This was contained in a press release on Friday by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru.

The new employees will assume duty first, virtually while the corporation monitors the COVID -19 situation and the Federal Government’s directives.

The statement explained that the option of virtual assumption of duty was necessitated by the need to comply with extant protocol on social distancing.

The NNPC said the trainees had “completed online documentation, and will commence virtual onboarding on Monday.”

The statement said the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari, is excited about the assumption of duty of the graduate trainees, saying they are part of the succession plan to assure the future of NNPC group.

He congratulated the successful graduate trainees being brought onboard the NNPC group system, adding that much was expected of them.

The assumption of duty of the graduate trainees marks the successful completion of the 2019/2020 recruitment exercise.

He added that in pursuance of excellence, the NNPC group as an equal opportunity employer with business interests across the Oil & Gas Industry value chain would continue to recruit the best hands in order to buoy its operations nationwide.

Private-Sector coronavirus relief fund amounts to N27.2bn, says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday published the list of contributors to Nigeria Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), which has amounted to N27.2 billion, as at April 23, 2020.

The list shows the CBN and Aliko Dangote as the highest contributors, with N2 billion each.

In a statement signed by Isaac Okorafor, director, corporate communications, the coalition conveyed its gratitude to all the institutions and individuals that have generously donated to this fund.

“We urge others to consider contributing to this national solidarity to provide not only medical equipment and materials but also to render urgently needed palliatives to the poor and vulnerable segments of our society. We hereby restate our commitment to full disclosure and accountability for all donations made,” the statement reads.

Where to get collateral-free personal loans online in Nigeria

Accessing personal loans has taken a different dimension with a couple of service providers giving out collateral-free loans without the need a proof of employment or even a visit to a banking hall for some paperwork.

The repayment period for these ranges from 14 days to 6 months, depending on the providers. The maximum amount one can access initially is dependent on the provided information, and requested funds are transferred almost immediately.

Below are some of the providers of such personal loans in no particular other.

Paylater (now Carbon)

Requirements: Valid bank details and BVNPlatform: Android, iOSInterest rate: 5% to 30%, depending on credit ratingLoan tenure: 15 days to 6 monthsMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channels: Debit Card, Quickteller and direct transferTo access personal loans from Paylater, all you need is an Android device, data connection and valid bank details. Paylater claims that users that repay on-time have access to a higher credit limits. There is a validation charge of ₦100 on the initial loan.Advertisement

KwikCash (now Migo)

Requirements: A mobile number and valid bank detailsPlatform: USSD (*561#), webInterest rate: 15 – 25%Loan tenure: 14 – 30 daysMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channels: ATM, debit card, USSD and direct transfer/depositThe entire process of borrowing starts and ends with *561#, from any Nigerian network.

You can access up to ₦100, 000 and you get the loan within 3 minutes. In case you are wondering what happens when you port to another network, you can choose to pay using any of the available payment channels.

Aella Credit

Requirements: Valid bank details, BVN and employer registration (for in-network loans)Platform: Android, iOSInterest rate: 20% – 27% for out of network loanLoan tenure: One monthMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel(s): Debit cardAella Credit has two options: in-network — for users whose company is registered on the platform — and out-of-network, that caters for people whose company is not registered. The in-network option promises higher loan amounts at lower interest rates. 

Part of the information requested on registration include details of your next of kin, and there’s a processing fee of ₦30.


Requirements: Employer registration, valid bank detailsPlatform: WebInterest rate: Function of the amount of loan and its tenure.Loan tenure: 1 to 12 monthsMultiple loans at a time: YesRepayment channel: Monthly loan repayments are deducted from salarySnapCredit serves as a medium for employers who do not want to give direct loans to their employees, by providing employees with instant access to money with no paperwork.

One outstanding feature of SnapCredit is that it allows you take another loan even with a running loan. However, you can’t borrow beyond your credit limit.


Requirements: Work ID card, valid bank detailsPlatform: WebInterest rate: 5.6% – 24%Loan tenure: 7 to 30 daysMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Debit card, direct depositKiaKia makes use of a chatbot that takes you through the process of registration and other activities towards getting your personal loans. You must have a work identity card before you can access a loan on Kiakia. You can also choose to register as a lender.


Requirements: Valid bank details, valid ID card, and bank statementsPlatform: WebInterest rate: 9% – 39%Loan tenure: 2 – 12 monthsMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Debit card, direct depositFINT is more of a marketplace that matches lenders with creditworthy borrowers. The minimum amount of personal loans given out is ₦60,000 and the interest rate is based on borrower’s risk score.


Requirements: Physical documents, valid bank detailsPlatform: WebInterest rate: 4% and aboveLoan tenure: 1 to 9 monthsMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Debit card, direct depositC24 offers collateral-free personal loans but application requires you submitting some documents at their office or having them pick it up from yours. Documents required include means of national identity, proof of employment, direct debit mandate, post-dated cheques, bank statement and a passport photograph.


Requirements: Valid bank detailsPlatform: Web, AndroidInterest rate: 7.5% to 58%Loan Tenure: 1 to 12 monthsMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Cheques, direct debit/depositZedvance offers both nano and salary loans. The nano loan doesn’t require much documentation while the salary loan requires proof of employment, means of identification and utility bill.

Loan tenure can be up to 18 months for the salary account.


Requirements: A Facebook Account, BVN and valid bank detailsPlatform: AndroidInterest rate: 20%Loan tenure: One monthMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channels: Debit card, auto-debit, mobile banking app.Branch makes use of some information on your phone to make lending decisions. This includes handset details, SMS logs, call logs and contact list. Loans on Branch are repaid in four weekly instalments.

Sharp Sharp by Credit Direct

Requirements: No guarantor, physical documents, personal bank detailsPlatform: WebInterest rate: 3.4% monthlyLoan tenure: One month and beyondMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Direct debitSharp Sharp provides personal loans to both salary earners and entrepreneurs. Loan tenure can be up to 12 months. It also offers loans to young salaried employees in the private sector as well as those on their national youth service year.


Requirements: Facebook account, valid and active phone number, bank details and source of incomePlatform: AndroidInterest Rate: 1% dailyLoan tenure: 5 to 30 daysMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Debit Card, Direct DepositApplying for a loan on QuickCheck require that you have a source of income, even selecting employment status options like student, unemployed or retired as your employment status. And aside accessing loan, phone airtime can also be purchased using the app.


Requirements: Government approved ID card, staff ID and salary account with a commercial bank in NigeriaPlatform: AndroidInterest Rate: 28% – 31%Loan tenure: One monthMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Direct DebitTo access loan from PayConnect, you have to be a employee of a vetted organisation with which you must have been working with for not less than 6 months. You need to present 3 months statement of account and you will also need the approval of your employer to access the loan.


Requirements: Facebook account, bank details and proof of employmentPlatform: AndroidInterest rate: 20-30%Loan Tenure: one monthMultiple loan at a time: NoRepayment channel: Direct debitTo access loan facility on FairMoney, you have to upload a selfie showing you holding an ID card. Other requirements include letter of employment or company details for self-employed. There’s a ₦50 charge to verify the debit card associated with linked account. You also give details of your next of kin.


Requirements: BVN, bank details, and a valid means of identification.Platform: AndroidInterest rate: 4.5% – 34%Loan Tenure: 2 to 6 monthsMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Direct debitTo access loan facility on Sokoloan, you must be over 20, live in Lagos, and you need to provide your cell phone number, BVN and bank details. Sokoloan states that customers can apply for loans ranging from ₦5000 – ₦100,000 but first-time borrowers will likely start closer to the lesser amount.

Page Financials

Requirements: BVN, bank details, proof of employment in Lagos or IbadanPlatform: Android, iOS, WebInterest rate: 2.99 – 5% monthlyLoan Tenure: 1 to 12 monthsMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Direct Debit, Remita, NUBAN cheques, online paymentsTo access loan facility on Page financials, you have to be in full-time employment in Lagos or Ibadan, but all bankers nationwide are eligible to secure this loan. To get a loan on the platform as an employee, your employer must be verified on the Page Financials’ database or request that your employer be verified and added on their database.

While first-time customers cant get less than 2.5% interest rest, returning customers can get less.


Requirements: BVN, bank details, Valid ID card,Platform: AndroidInterest rate: 25%Loan Tenure: 2 to 12 monthsMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Direct debitTo access the loan facility on OKash, all that your BVN, bank details and Valid ID is required. The loans typically range from ₦3000 – ₦50,000 and repayment tenures which were previously as low as 15 days are now a minimum of 6 months

Quick Credit (Guaranty Trust Bank)

Requirements: BVN, a Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) AccountPlatform: Web, GTBank online and mobile banking platforms: GTWorld, GTBank Mobile App and Habari AppInterest rate: 1.33% monthlyLoan Tenure: 6 to 12 monthsMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Direct debitTo access GTbank’s Quickcredit loan facility, you must have an account with GTBank and must have a regular income. Users can access loans from ₦10,000 – ₦5 million with a repayment period of six months to one year.

QuickBucks (Access Bank)

Requirements: BVN, bank detailsPlatforms: Android, iOSInterest rate: 4% (reducing balance method)Loan Tenure: 1 to 12 monthsMultiple loans at a time: YesRepayment channel: Direct debitAside from the 4% monthly interest rate, there’s a 1% and 0.15% for management fee and credit life insurance respectively which are deducted immediately a loan is disbursed.

The QuickBucks Payday loan is accessible to any salary earner. Beyond the payday loan of one month tenure, one can also access salary advance of three months tenure, small ticket personal loan of 6 months, device financing loan of 12 months tenure, among others.


Requirements: BVN, bank details, phone numbersPlatform: AndroidInterest rate: 4% – 4.7% per monthLoan Tenure: 3 to 6 monthsMultiple loans at a time: NoRepayment channel: Direct debitPalm Credit’s loan facility can be accessed by anyone who is 18 years and above. The maximum amount that the platform can offer is ₦100,000.

Just In: IMF grants immediate debt relief to 25 countries

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has announced immediate debt relief to twenty-five countries following the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, in statement issued by the global financial institution said:

IMF Chief, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva

“Today, I am pleased to say that our Executive Board approved immediate debt service relief to 25 of the IMF’s member countries under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) as part of the Fund’s response to help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts.

IMF grants debt relief to 25 countries

“The CCRT can currently provide about US$500 million in grant-based debt service relief, including the recent US$185 million pledge by the U.K. and US$100 million provided by Japan as immediately available resources. Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important contributions. I urge other donors to help us replenish the Trust’s resources and boost further our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries.”

The countries that will receive debt service relief today are: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, and Yemen.

Asian markets rise after Fed stimulus boosts Wall St

The coronavirus pandemic has hammered economies around the world, sending governments scrambling to put together massive stimulus measures

Asian markets were mostly higher in morning trade on Friday after the latest US coronavirus stimulus measures boosted Wall Street overnight.

In its latest attempt to ease the economic pain inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Federal Reserve said it would pump $2.3 trillion through new lending programmes.

The pandemic has now claimed more than 94,000 lives around the world and hammered economies, sending governments and central banks scrambling to put together unprecedented, massive emergency measures.

The strong close on Wall Street helped boost Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index by 0.4 percent in the afternoon.

Seoul was also up, rising 0.7 percent, and Taipei gained 0.1 percent. But Shanghai was down 0.7 percent.

Hong Kong, Sydney, Wellington, and Singapore were closed for a public holiday.

The Fed appears to be “on a mission to blow holes in every dam that stops the flow of credit”, said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.

“And it sure sounds like they have plenty more dynamite if needed.”

The European Union also followed the US with its own rescue package worth 500 billion euros ($550 billion) to ease the impact of COVID-19 in the 27-nation bloc.

Millions of jobs have been shed during the pandemic, with data released Thursday showing 17 million people have lost their jobs in the United States alone since mid-March.

But investors appear to be focused more on the impact of the stimulus packages and if they will be able to achieve the stability governments are hoping for.

– Worst ‘since Great Depression’ –

The latest emergency measures came as the International Monetary Fund warned that 170 of its 180 members would see declines in per capita income this year.

“We anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression,” said IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, urging governments to provide lifelines to businesses and households alike, and cautioned that “it could get worse”.

All major oil producers except Mexico, meanwhile, agreed to cut output and May and June by 10 million barrels a day after marathon talks to stabilise crude prices.

Oil has plummeted to near-two-decade lows in recent weeks because of the pandemic’s impact on the global economy and a bruising price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

But while Riyadh and Moscow have agreed, OPEC said the deal can only take effect after consent from Mexico — which did not agree to its share of cuts under the deal.

Brent Crude was down 4.1 percent, and West Texas Intermediate was 9.3 percent lower.

– Key figures around 0445 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.4 percent at 19,425.96

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.7 percent at 2,807.64

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: Closed for a public holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0939 from $1.0929 at 2100 GMT Thursday

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.38 from 108.47

Pound/dollar: FLAT at $1.2464

Euro/pound: UP at 87.76 pence from 87.64 pence

Brent Crude: DOWN 4.1 percent at 31.48 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 9.3 percent at 22.76 per barrel

New York – Dow: UP 1.2 percent at 23,719.37 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 2.9 percent at 5,842.66 (close)