Stanbic IBTC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has said it is pleased to join the Chinese community in Nigeria and other well wishers to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the year of the pig. The company stated that the Chinese community in Nigeria has become a very important part of the Stanbic IBTC business ecosystem as well as that of the country’s socio-economic and cultural heritage and is proud to support the community as it ushered in its new year.
“The staff and management of Stanbic IBTC wish to congratulate the Chinese community as it celebrates its New Year, the year of the pig. You have become a very important part of Nigeria and the Stanbic IBTC family and we are proud to join you to welcome the new Chinese year,” Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Mr. Yinka Sanni, said.
China’s trade relations with Nigeria have grown considerably over the years. Today, China is one of Nigeria’s biggest trade partners, with a trade balance in the region of $8 billion in 2018, even as the Chinese and the Nigerian governments have expressed their commitment to deepen trade relations between the two countries. The recent $2.5 billion currency swap agreement between Nigeria and China to ease trade between the two nations underpins the commitment to strengthen bilateral trade between the two nations.
According to Sanni, the China Nigeria relationship is more significant for Stanbic IBTC. There exists a strategic institutional relationship involving ICBC, Standard Bank and Stanbic IBTC, which can be leveraged to provide stronger trade and business ties between Nigeria and China. ICBC, the world’s largest bank, holds a 20% stake in Standard Bank while Standard Bank has about 65% stake in Stanbic IBTC. “The relationship presents a huge leverage in Africa-China trade ties and has resulted in various initiatives across Africa, ranging from Renminbi trading, to Africa-China business centres, and landmark deals,” Sanni, said.
“Nigeria is a market with great potential for now and the future; the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has built a bridge between the two markets to create possibilities. Our special position as a part of ICBC through our Standard Bank heritage has strategically positioned us to help deepen the existing business relationships between the two countries, as the recent currency swap deal portends,” Sanni added.
The Nigerian and the Chinese economies, according to Sanni, have similarities that will continue to strengthen the symbiotic relationships between the two and usher in a brighter future. China remains a market with great potential with the largest population in the world. Nigeria is also the biggest economy in Africa, in GDP terms, rich in human and natural resources with tremendous growth potential. Stanbic IBTC, the leading end-to-end financial services provider in the country, with a rich heritage derived from the Standard Bank Group, is well positioned to provide full financial and advisory support to Nigerian and Chinese businesses looking to unlock opportunities in both economies.
“Our Africa-China banking Centre was created specifically to link Nigerian and Chinese clients with China’s digital banking ecosystem to underline our unique position as the go-to bank for Chinese businesses in Nigeria and for Nigerian businesses trading in China,” Sanni said.
Driverless cars could be in full use on Britain’s roads by 2021, the government announced on Wednesday.The new technology is a step closer after UK ministers announced plans to move forward on advanced trials for automated vehicles. A statement issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) says that the UK is “on track to meet its commitment to have fully self-driving vehicles on UK roads by 2021.”Plans to strengthen the code of practice for testing automated safely have also been outlined.
The new regulations seek to ensure that anyone trialling driverless cars must publish safety information, trial performance reports and carry out risk assessments. They will also be required to inform the relevant authorities and emergency services.
The DfT described its announcement as a “major boost” to the UK’s market for connected and automated vehicles, which it estimates will be worth £52 billion ($67 billion) by 2035.
A prototype Nissan Leaf driverless car on a demonstration in London.Transport Minister Jesse Norman said in a statement: “Thanks to the UK’s world class research base, this country is in the vanguard of the development of new transport technologies, including automation.”The government is supporting the safe, transparent trialling of this pioneering technology, which could transform the way we travel.”
Yet any suggestion that driverless cars will soon be common place on British roads has been met with skepticism from some experts.PA Consulting, a global innovation and transformation consultancy, has conducted extensive research on the viability of driverless cars.Charlie Henderson, roads expert at the company, was lead author of a 2018 report, Autonomous vehicles: What are the roadblocks? He told CNN that while the research focused on Britain “the issues are relevant to all geographies.”Henderson added: “To get autonomous vehicles working on the roads relies on six or seven factors, of which technology is one.”Others include legislation, policing and insurance.
According to Henderson, however, the most important is other road users. This issue was brought to the fore last year when a 49-year-old woman was killed while crossing the road in Arizona by a self-driving Uber vehicle.
“Road users are not just other vehicles but pedestrians and cyclists who need to learn to understand and be confident in how these vehicles are going to behave. You can design an autonomous vehicle to be super safe and drive along cautiously.”This, according to Henderson, would lead vehicles to be “very, very slow”, potentially causing “gridlock” in urban areas and even accidents.”What we need to do is think through a whole bunch of behavior changes, not just around the vehicles themselves but how people interact with them.
”The 2018 report concluded that widespread use of driverless cars is at least a decade away, though Henderson added that there is likely to be “limited use of autonomous vehicles in specific environments” by 2023 — such as driverless buses and agricultural vehicles.Play VideoRelated Video: How do we keep self driving cars from killing us? 03:23Christian Wolmar is a transport journalist who has published numerous books, including “Driverless cars: On a road to nowhere.”He told CNN the UK government announcement was “putting the cart before the horse,” adding: “The idea that they are thinking of allowing these cars on the streets before anything is ready is a mistake and might even put lives at risk.
”The public’s appetite for the new technology is perhaps not as large as the automotive industry might want to believe.Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy for the RAC motoring organization, told CNN that while he welcomed the new safety testing standards, RAC research from 2016 showed “62% of UK drivers were actually scared by the thought of truly driverless cars on the road, with only 27% believing they will make the UK’s roads safer.”Lyes added: This suggests there is still an awful lot of work to do to convince people that the future of mobility really is all about vehicles that can drive themselves.”
A spokesman for the UK road safety charity Brake said that, “connected and autonomous vehicles have huge potential to eliminate driver error and put an end to the daily tragedy of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”The charity said it supports the leading role being played by UK government on this subject, adding, “it is vital that people and their needs are put at the center of this technological shift.” (CNN)
Entrepreneur and Managing Director of Sixth Sense Interiors, Mrs Tope Olagbegi, has narrated how a fire incident which consumed her multi-million naira showroom on highbrow Victoria Island turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Olagbegi narrated her experience in a post on her Facebook page, describing her turnaround story as sheer miracle which only God could have made possible.
According to her, despite the fact that the devastating incident left her hugely indebted to the banks that lent her money to finance her business, she did not only pay back her debts but got much more than she lost in return.
Read her post, titled, ‘Only Me?’, below:
“I had started taking loans from the bank . I would fly around the world bringing in home accessories, upholstery, curtain fabrics and furniture etc. My gift had always been my eyes. If I saw it could sell, it would sell.
I had just recieved a container full of Italian leather furniture designed to my taste into my Ozumba Mbadiwe showroom.
It had taken 2 months to design them all , 1 month to fabricate and 2 months to ship and clear.
I had them in different shapes and colours.
A major investment of time and resources it had been. And when they finally arrived, it had been worth the wait.
I had spent the night before sending text messages to my customers on the arrival of new stock.
I think I got to the showroom around 9am that morning to arrange the space. My first customer that day @bettychidi had come in to purchase one of the sofas.
As I was instructing my staff to rearrange some items, I heard an AC explosion. FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! my staff screamed.
Looking up, the AC area had been engulfed in smoke as the fire caught a throw cushion; it hit a sofa and that was the beginning of the end.
I ran out without my shoes and cell phone as well as the money I had just recieved. I was speechless! My coffee tables had their glass exploding from the heat. My show glass windows were cracking and shattering.
Jesu, ibo ni oju re wa? (Jesus, where are you?) ….. as tears rolled down my face.
The first fire truck arrived. No water. The second came 40 mins later, however, it was far too late.
My husband arrived to stand my my side, as all we had worked for had charred before our eyes.
Traffic that day was BAAAD. Ozumba traffic had affected everywhere in VI as all the radio stations announced that SIXTH SENSE interiors was on fire. It was on the network news that evening and in newspapers the next day! Bad news travels way faster than good news.
One of my lowest points in my life was this season. I just couldnt see how this could ever work for my good. It seemed my life was always taking 5 steps forward and 8 backwards.
I felt God had left and disgraced me!!
Few weeks later, I summoned the courage to start going out again for work. And strangest things started happening. Everywhere I went, once I introduced myself and my company, a flash of recognition will hit them. Aaaaah!!
Was it your shop that caught fire? If yes, you’re getting the job.
And thats all it took. No more long proposals …… Jobs were coming in for me.
You know I had prayed to God earnestly to make my biz a household name Hmmm!! Be careful what you wish for. The fire incident had made my biz just that.
I didn’t pay for all the publicity, I couldn’t pay for all the news agencies that had been talking about SIXTH SENSE interiors as well as calling for interviews.
What seemed like a colossal loss, was another way of God bringing me out of fire unscathed.
Wo ni, ohun ti o fe be ni lori; to si ni fila (What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger).
The set back was shortlived! However, my biz life had changed from that moment on.”
The federal government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will see that the Nigerian international passport will be produced locally.
The agreement was signed between Iris Smart Technology Limited, an indigenous company, and Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc at the Ministry of Interior in Abuja.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Abdulrahman Dambazau, the minister of interior, said the process that led to the signing of the MoU began two years ago.
Listing the advantages of Nigeria producing the e-passport Dambazau said it would protect the country’s our data base, create employment and allow Nigerians acquire skills in passport production.
“We must ensure that we provide Nigerians with the best quality passport booklet because that is what Nigerians deserve,” he said on Tuesday.
On his part, Mohammed Babandede, immigration comptroller-general, thanked the minister for ensuring that domestication of production of the passport was achieved.
Babandede stated that the first copy to be produced would be tested to ensure that it had the desired quality.
Abbas Masanawa, managing director, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, assured that they would not disappoint Nigerians, adding that they would produce the passport that would compete with passports in the world.
The federal government recently introduced the e-passport, which will be available from March.