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Lagos Guber: New Name Emmerges As Tinubu, Aregbeshola Move To Stop Ambode’s Second Term Bid

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Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode

The fate of the Lagos state Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode in picking the All Progressive Congress’ ticket to bid for a final term as the Lagos state’s governor is at the moment not getting receptive signals from major stake holders in the state especially, his major sponsor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Alimosho Lagos based outgoing Governor of the state of Osun, Engr. Rauf Aregbesola.

Signs that the Lagos State Governor, Ambode could have challenges securing his party’s ticket for a second term manifested at the early stage of his current tenure, though with no significant notice.

According to knowledgeable sources within the Lagos APC, Ambode drew the anger of his sponsor, Asiwaju Tinubu, when, at the beginning of his term, he immediately set out to establish his political structure, not minding the existence of the Asiwaju Tinubu’s structure that installed him as governor of the state.

“In fairness to Ambode, he tried to code the move, but the fact that he used a very close family member in building the structure gave him away and his mentor got the signal” narrated a source.

Rauf Aregbesola

ThePage was further told that, even though Asiwaju appeared indifferent when he heard about efforts being made by ‘his creation’ to establish an independent structure,his body language was said to have given him away at the peak of the Ambode’s refuse challenge in the Lagos metropolis after he dismantled the Tinubu erected Private Sector Partnership (PSP) structure.

According to multiple sources within the party, there was a serious complaint against the Governor  before Asiwaju, when the Ambode led government decided to upturn what a source described as  the ‘ inherited working  and effective refuse collection ‘ system in the state.

“ Dont forget that the refuse collecting system operational in the state before now was introduced by  Tinubu when he was governor of the state. And its been a very good way of patronising many party members in the state “ a source obliged.

ThePage was reliably  informed that about 45,000 residents in the state  were directly surviving on the scrapped PSP project  out of which about 25,000 were direct operators hired from the party while the remaining were people engaged by the direct operators.

The demolition of the  local system for the engagement of a new contractor , Vissionscape was viewed  by Asiwaju as an affront, especially because, he as the initiator of the original operation, was not carried along before it was axed.

Events that unfolded afterwards, regarding the scrapping of the PSP project gave Asiwaju reasons to condemn Ambode before party leaders who sought his intervention in ensuring a cleaner Lagos, even as he was said to have immediately commenced the process of a search for another candidate to replace Ambode and thus preventing him from serving a second term in office.

As a source narrated to ThePage : when it became obvious that the governor was losing the battle against refuse in the state, some leaders in the party lobbied Asiwaju to intervene and impressed it on him to facilitate the reinstatement of the PSP operation , but he (Tinubu)  refused, and quoted  to have  insisted that he will rather allow him ( governor) carry out his heart desires regarding the issue in question.

ThePage reliably gathered that whatever animosity Tinubu may have against his political son , which many believed would be resolved at the appropriate time, was fuelled further,  by the outgoing governor of the State of Osun, Rauf Aregbesola, who sources revealed has done more than enough to discourage Asiwaju from encouraging a second term ticket for his Lagos state counterpart.

Reliable sources mentioned that Ambode incured the wrath of the Osun governor when he( Ambode) refused to be part of the scheme to return Aregbesola to the mainstream Lagos politics by not  supporting his desire to return as Senator representing Lagos West after his terms next month, as the Osun State Governor for 8 years.

Thepage gathered that Aregbesola who was  Commissioner for Works in Lagos for over 8 years before becoming Osun state governor was interested in getting the ticket to contest the Lagos West Senatorial election under the APC, but, sought the support of Governor Ambode, whom sources hinted, told him point blank, that he could not support such a radical move .

Ambode’s stance on the issue, it was  gathered, was further emboldened by Asiwaju’s rejection of same. It was gathered however, that Aregbesola had planned to use the expected support from Ambode to persuade Asiwaju to change his mind, but when he met a brick-wall with Ambode, he became an instant part of the plot to stop  the Lagos  governor’s second term bid.

If supporters of the Lagos State Governor were in doubt before now, that there were plots against the second term aspiration of the governor, news of the introduction of using the Direct Primaries system to determine who gets the ticket to contest the APC governorship ticket for  the next election has cleared the doubts.

According to sources, Asiwaju is only capitalising on the adoption of the same direct primaries system by the new leadership in the national  APC to stop Ambode because it suits his plans.

Bola Tinubu

Even though Asiwaju Tinubu, while announcing to party members in Lagos penultimate week , of decision to use the direct primaries to decide who gets the party tickets in the next elections in the state , he  hinged his decision on the need to follow party directive and make party members determine who gets their ticket as against the use of delegates.

While ThePage sources said it was only convenient for Asiwaju to rely on the alibi,it was gathered that Asiwaju had envisaged the difficulty he will encounter in buying the state’s delegates to reject Ambode at the primary election.

“ Asiwaju  realised on time, the futility of giving delegates money to stop Ambode, because of the abundance revenue at the disposal of the governor.

“ Ambode can afford to splash tripple of whatever Asiwaju would offer the delegates, hence his decision to hide under the ‘ obeying party resolution’ alibi, to edge Ambode out of the way for a new choice to emerge as Lagos state governor” a dependable source mentioned.

Giving Asiwaju more convenient alibi to dump Ambode, ThePage further gathered, was  the clamour before now, by some party members among them, an influential politician from Ambode’s consistency in Epe, all of who successfully prevailed on Asiwaju to discourage  the use of  party delegates to determine who gets the ticket to flag the party’s flag in all the coming elections in the state which the guber is a part.

The name of the former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly Hon. Adeyemi IKuforiji featured prominently among the names of aspirants who lobbied Asiwaju to take the direct primaries option decision.

The interest of IKuforiji, ThePage has learnt,  may not be unconnected with the plan to resuscitate the initial  Asiwaju approved interest in him becoming the state’s governor before it was forced to be jettisoned by circumstances about 4 years ago.

Keen political watchers in the state believe that replacing Ambode with IKuforiji wont attract much noise especially because IKuforiji is observed to be an all round politician, loyal to the political stausquo and closer to politicians in the state. Above all, he is from the same Epe constituency with the outgoing governor of the state,hence, the permutation that the people of the constituency won’t feel any sense of loss should the ticket taken away from Governor Ambode.

–By Femi Adepoju

Business

Jumia Offers Exciting Deals to Customers With Naija Shopping Festival Campaign

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jumia

Nigeria’s leading e-tailer Jumia, is offering a thrilling shopping experience to Nigerian customers with the Naija Shopping Festival campaign, running from the 12th of July to 29th of August.

The festival offers customers a unique opportunity of a good bargain on every product of their choice at the best market prices.

 

The campaign period (12th of July to 29th of August) is a window of opportunity for parents to leverage price discounts for holiday play items and back to school materials for their kids. It is also an ample opportunity for those working on their beach body for the holiday to get sports gear at the best prices. Customers are expected to download the Jumia App to fully exploit the benefits of the shopping festival. 

 

 

Head of Brands at Jumia Nigeria, Moyosore Oduwobi while commenting on offers available during the festival period said, Jumia marketplace offers simplicity and affordability to the Nigerian customers, and is offering them more on a wider range of products during the festival. 

 

Naija Shopping Festival is every shopper’s dream. Every product you can think of that you’ll need this season, it’s available on Jumia. It’s a good opportunity for customers to delve into the simplicity of the experience and the affordability we offer. It’s our identity to give customers unbeatable prices from the comfort of their homes, and this and more is what they will be getting during this festival,” Oduwobi said. 

 

 

Some of the partners for the Festival include Pernod Ricard, Edifier, Adidas, Nivea, Xiaomi and Fanswedy.

 

The campaign offers customers amazing shopping experiences and benefits such as Daily Flash sales, free shipping on selected brands, N100 clearance sales, live giveaways and surprises packages for shoppers on the weekends.

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Customer Appreciates Service Delivery Of Nigeria’s Ecommerce Market Leader

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Customer

E-commerce is still in its infancy in Nigeria and Africa in general. Despite this, many would agree that a lot of progress has been made in the industry.

What we have today is a big leap to what obtained twelve years ago. More consumers are onboarding the e-commerce train. The hardest skeptics are beginning to have a taste of what online shopping entails.

Urban centers are gradually becoming a beehive of e-commerce activities, as the majority of small businesses now showcase their wares online. Several logistics brands are springing up to meet the delivery demands of sellers and customers.

Hardly would you ply major roads in states like Lagos, Rivers and Abuja, without coming across a delivery van or motorcycle. Their presence is an indication of e-commerce momentum in the country.

More important is the improvement on service delivery by the industry players. The early days of online shopping was fraught with complaints. Late delivery of orders, wrong items and payment itches were prevalent at the time. Though these issues are still being experienced at intervals, it is fair to say that online platforms have put in effort to reduce such occurrences.

And in cases where this happens, measures are in place for a speedy refund process. These efforts are also being appreciated by customers. “I have been using Jumia for like six years now and my experience with Jumia has been nice.

Even when I returned my order, I got my refund back less than the time they gave me. Even on their JumiaPay wallet, which you have to pay online before you get your order, I have had a very good experience with them,” said Ogechi Celestine, a Civil Servant resident in Rivers State.

Another interesting way e-commerce brands are improving service delivery and customer experience is pick up stations. With a station close by, a customer can walk in and pick his item. It takes e-commerce closer to rural residents and further eases the deal for urban dwellers.

“Today is my first time coming to their pickup station to pick my order. I give kudos to Jumia and the team. They should keep it up,” Celestine added. The initiative is not only taking the service closer to customers, but also having ripple impact on small businesses.

Though the e-commerce industry still has a lot to improve on, the work being put in by the major industry players gives hope of a good future for e-commerce services in Nigeria.

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HOW CUSTOMERS’ INCREASED TRUST IN FIRSTBANK’S *894# USSD BANKING CAN BOOST THE FINANCIAL INCLUSION DRIVE

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FirstBank

The path to financial inclusion holds different marketplace barriers and opportunities in different countries, but the push continues because of proof that an increase in economic activities among the financially vulnerable can reawaken a comatose economy.

 

 

For Nigeria, the last three years have seen significant growth of the financial inclusion rate from 56.8% in 2016 to 63.2% in 2018. FirstBank’s *894# USSD banking service is playing a key role in it.

 

FirstBank’s *894# USSD banking initiative is already averaging about 99 million transactions monthly, with a naira worth of (N’m) 370,543 on these transactions. This figure includes the undergraduate doing a mobile airtime recharge; the trader receiving a mobile payment from a customer; the IT person hurriedly buying a data bundle to keep business afloat; the anxious father paying his daughter’s hospital bills for treatment to commence, and the busy worker in Lagos transferring money to his parents in the village since he cannot get to a banking hall.

 

This is just a rough sampling of the financial transactions that amounted to over N3.6 trillion in transaction value on the *894# USSD banking service in 2020. There is practically no financial emergency that the USSD service does not come in.

 

The problems that the *894# USSD service from First Bank of Nigeria Limited is solving is the only justification for the rapid traction it has gained since it was introduced in 2015. It is easy to see Nigerians trust and confidence in the USSD system, with the Bank rapidly growing from 9.5 million customers on the USSD feature to 12.26 million customers within the last year. Over 1.02 million of the figure, are customers who registered in the first 6 months of 2021.

 

The first and perhaps the most attractive feature of USSD banking has got to be that it can be done from any kind of phone and without any form of internet connectivity. Although smartphones are getting more common, there is still a high poverty rate and many financially vulnerable people who cannot access internet banking. The internet penetration in Nigeria is still below the ideal, so users have to deal with poor internet connections in some areas.

 

That is why this kind of banking service that can be accessed without internet connectivity is ideal for the financial inclusion drive. The *894# USSD feature can be used across the four major GSM network operators in the country, meaning there is no added demand on the users.

 

Getting started on the service is as easy as dialling *894*0#, and creating a pin. With that done, you can do airtime and data purchase for yourself and other parties, transfer funds to other accounts, make a BVN enquiry, check your account balance and get a mini statement.

 

For non-customers, this feature allows you to open a bank account in a couple of minutes without having to visit the banking hall. You can open a bank account, receive your account number immediately and start transactions on it right away. The claims of “instant banking, anytime, anywhere” can’t get more real than this.

 

There is even an added security step, requesting a second-factor authentication (2FA) for transfers above N20,000 as a way to secure customers from being ripped off their funds. There is a cumulative maximum daily transfer limit of N100,000 to both FirstBank and other banks accounts.

 

How does FirstBank USSD improve the lives of Nigerians?

For one, the data being generated through this service is sufficient to help the bank understand its current and prospective customers and develop products that suit them.

 

Traders and small businesses can also get a Merchant ID which customers can use to make payments for products and services. This of course is better than having to send one’s account details to countless customers, even without knowing whether or not they are ready to make their purchase.

 

To ensure customers can meet emergency needs before month-end, the Bank’s FirstAdvance service is at their fingertips. FirstAdvance is a digital lending solution designed to offer convenient and easy access to cash for payroll customers awaiting payment of their salaries.

 

Offered through the Bank’s USSD Banking service and leading banking app product, FirstMobile, customers are exposed to a range of loan offerings which put them at an edge in meeting immediate financial needs. To initiate the service through the USSD banking service, the customer is to dial – USSD CODE-*894*11# or *894#. The service is open to customers with a salary account domiciled with the Bank and have received salaries for the last 6 months at the least.

 

There are much more about FirstBank’s *894# USSD banking that puts customers at a distinct advantage in carrying out their daily personal, financial and business activities; meeting unforeseen emergencies, and carrying out a wide range of transactions – with so much fun and convenience – irrespective of where they are in the country.

 

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