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Fire Razes Enugu Market, Destroys Goods Worth Millions Of Naira

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An early morning fire at Amaigbo Market in Obiagu, a sprawling suburb in Enugu, on Friday, has destroyed goods worth millions of naira.

The Chairman of the market, Mr Emeka Nnajiofor, told Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who paid a condolence visit to the traders, that the fire broke out at about 1am.

Nnajiofor said that at least 68 petty traders were affected by the incident, adding that the cause of the fire had yet to be ascertained.

He said that most of the stalls in the market were completely razed down by the fire.

Mrs Nkechi Eneh, the Executive Secretary, Enugu State Emergency Management Agency, said that they got a distress call about the inferno and alerted the state Fire Service which, she said, responded promptly.

Eneh said that it took the men of the fire service about two hours to put out the fire.

“The fire affected 68 traders and they are all gathered here,” Eneh told the governor.

Responding, Ugwuanyi directed the Chairman of Enugu North council area to take the inventory of the loss caused by the fire.

He also asked the chairman to ascertain the cost of reconstructing the market and forward the same to his office.

He promised to support the victims with N100,000 each to enable them to return to their businesses.

“We are here to help and console you. The chairman of the council has been directed to evaluate the cost of rebuilding the stalls and report back to us,” Ugwuanyi said.

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Zenith Bank Emerges Best Bank In Nigeria In The Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020

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Zenith Bank

Zenith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading financial institution, has emerged as the Best Bank in Nigeria in the recently released Global Finance Magazine World’s Best Banks Awards 2020.

The awards, which was published in the May 2020 edition of the Global Finance Magazine, was based on the performances of the banks in their respective regions and countries over the period from January 1 to December 31, 2019.

Global Finance’s “World’s Best Banks Awards” are recognized amongst the world’s most influential banking/finance and corporate professionals as the most coveted and credible awards in the banking industry, with winners chosen in more than 150 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and Western Europe.

Founded in 1987, Global Finance regularly selects the top performers among banks and other providers of financial services and the awards have become a trusted standard of excellence for the global financial community.

Commenting on the recognition, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of Zenith Bank, Mr, Ebenezer Onyeagwu said that “this award is a clear demonstration of the bank’s market leadership, occasioned by our superior product offerings, best-in-class service and top-of-the-range technology which create value for our teeming customers.”

Zenith Bank has clearly distinguished itself in the Nigerian financial services industry through superior service quality, unique customer experience and sound financial indices. The bank, with a knack for setting the pace and raising benchmarks, is a clear leader in the digital space with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products, solutions and an assortment of alternative channels that ensure convenience, speed and safety of transactions.

As a testament to its resilience and market leadership, Zenith Bank announced an impressive result for the year ended December 31, 2019, with profit after tax (PAT) of N208.8 billion, achieving the feat as the first Nigerian Bank to cross the N200 billion mark. In the recently released Q1 2020 unaudited financial results, the bank also recorded an improved result over the corresponding period in 2019, with gross earnings rising by 6% to N166.8 billion and profit before tax (PAT) growing 3% to N58.8 billion.

Consistent with this superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of exceptional performance, Zenith Bank was ranked as the Best Commercial Bank in Nigeria 2019 by the World Finance and the Best Digital Bank in Nigeria 2019 by Agusto & Co. The bank was also voted as Bank of the Year and Best Bank in Retail Banking at the 2019 BusinessDay Banks and other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards. Most recently, the bank was recognized as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the third consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2020” and the Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020.

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Naira Crashes, Now Exchanging At N412 For A Dollar

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The Nigerian Naira plunged further in value on Monday March 30, as it exchanged at N412 for a dollar following a temporary suspension of sale of forex to the Bureau De Change operators in the country by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Recall that the apex bank had pegged the exchange rate of the Naira at N380 to the dollar, a move it insisted was not a devaluation of the Nigerian currency.

The CBN however granted the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria its request of going on holiday due to challenges in the local and global economies over the coronavirus pandemic.

While the Naira has crashed in its value due to the low price of crude oil in the international market in recent times, BDC operators have disclosed that there has been a drastic decline in demand for forex due to the impact of coronavirus on the economy. The financial market stakeholders also disclosed that businesses are down and many people are not travelling.

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Naira Crashes In Value, Dollar Sells For N420

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On Thursday, the naira exchanged between N405 and N420 to a dollar in the Bureau De Change segment of the market, Punch reports

The President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, Aminu Gwadabe, said the crude oil price which fell drastically in the international market to as low as $35 per barrel, raised speculations among the BDC operators and Nigerians in general.

He said this caused speculations in the market which were not necessary.

Gwadabe said, “With the fall in oil crude oil prices on Monday, we witnessed a lot of foreign investors portfolio dropping their assets, most especially to convert to cash.

“The movement was as a result of recklessness on the side of the operators, when they want to speculate, but there is no reason for such because the Central Bank of Nigeria had continued to maintain support for liquidity to the BDC sub-sector.”

While noting that the dollar sold for as high as N400, he said sanity was gradually returning to the sector as it sold for N375 by the close of the day.

According to him, the CBN had maintained stability at N360 in more than three years.

He said in its meeting with the CBN on Thursday, the regulator warned the BDCs against contraventions.

The ABCON president disclosed that the CBN wanted to revoke the licences of some BDCs for various infractions but fined over 100 BDCs over N5m for various offences.

Another BDC operator who spoke with our correspondent said, “When we woke up on Monday, the exchange was still about N360, but all of a sudden, because of the fall in crude oil price, people were panicky.

“Today, we still sold for up to N420 but the price was fluctuating.”

The CBN also expressed its displeasure on the issue in a statement, saying the speculative activities of unscrupulous players in the foreign exchange market was borne out of the impression that the CBN was on the verge of devaluing the Naira, and triggering panic in the FX Market.

“These rumours are false, unwarranted and calculated to serve their dubious and selfish ends,” it stated.

It added, “We have begun a robust and coordinated investigation in collaboration with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and related agencies to uncover the unscrupulous persons and FX dealers who are creating this panic, and the full weight of our rules and regulations will be meted out to them, including, but not limited to, being charged for economic sabotage.”

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