Saturday, 07 March 2020
Saturday, 07 March 2020 19:09

Coronavirus hits British Airways

Two British Airways staff have tested positive for coronavirus.

The staff, who are now recovering at home, are reported to be baggage handlers at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The development has brought the total number of infected persons in the UK to 163.

However, the airline has encouraged its staff to take unpaid leave as the disease keeps spreading around the globe.

“Public Health England (PHE) has confirmed that two members of our staff, have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus,” British Airways said in a statement.

“The welfare of our passengers and colleagues is our top priority. A dedicated team from Public Health England is in place at Heathrow to respond to any incidents.”

The airport is also cleaning surfaces and providing hand sanitisers to workers “to protect themselves and our passengers.”

A spokesman for Public Health England said that Heathrow already has enhanced monitoring for certain flights and that while it won’t comment on individual cases, in any positive test the department conducts contact tracing, aimed at locating everyone the person has made contact with.

British Airways, the biggest operator at London Heathrow, has already scrapped all flights to China, taking steps to slow down on destinations in Europe, Japan, and South Korea.

The carrier this week announced that it would scrap change fees on all new bookings made between March 3 and March 16, to spur travelers to book tickets.

Published in World

Ecobank Nigeria has unveiled a new product offering, Xpress Save and Xpress Loan, enabling customers to conveniently & speedily open digital savings accounts and also obtain short-term micro credit loans using their mobile phones through a USSD platform, *326#.

Ecobank Xpress Save and Xpress Loan, the first of its kind in the Nigeria market, is an online real-time, self-service solution which is suitable for all micro entrepreneurs, artisans, traders, low income earners and the entire unbanked and underbanked mass market population. The Xpress Save and Xpress Loan product is simple to access digitally through the mobile phone and it is available 24 hours every day of the week.

Unveiling the product in Lagos, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan said this innovative product is part of the bank’s overall strategy to drive financial inclusion and make full banking truly accessible to all in Nigeria.

According to him, Xpress Save and Xpress Loan is a digital product designed to stimulate micro savings in the economy and at the same time expand access for eligible customers to obtain short term micro credit loans to bridge cashflow gaps thus contributing to the national efforts to deepen financial inclusion.

“We announced our plans to take banking to every neighborhood in Nigeria no matter how far, through our agency banking – the Ecobank Xpress Point. This. we have done and will continue to do until every household in Nigeria feels our presence. Through Xpress Save and Xpress Loan, we will empower these target households with the ability to save easily for the rainy day and also give them access to small loans to enable them to fund their businesses with more ease. All these are in line with the Ecobank Group mandate which is to contribute to the economic development and financial integration of the African continent”. Mr Akinwuntan stated.

Also speaking, the Head, Personal Banking, Ecobank Nigeria, Ayodele Osolake who gave further details about the product noted that “Xpress Save allows mobile phone users to save money in their digital savings accounts (Ecobank Xpress Save account) which is opened simply and instantly through USSD code – *326#. On the other hand, Xpress Loan allows customers who have Ecobank Xpress Save account access short term micro loans instantly to meet their immediate needs”

She stated that “to be eligible for the loan the customer needs to simply open Xpress Save account, meet Tier 1 KYC requirements and our simple credit score. The Ecobank Xpress Save and Xpress Loan product requires no paper work and no fees are charged for onboarding. The product has best in class security features, ensuring that customers’ transactions are fully protected.

Published in Bank & Finance
Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has been consulted by the South Africa’s government to help rescue the nation out of recession.

South Africa is currently experiencing economic downturn as it entered its second recession in two years, and Okonjo-Iweala is the woman the nation has consulted to help rescue it from the shackles of recession.

Statistically,  South Africa said the economy shrank 1.4 per cent in the fourth quarter, following a revised 0.8 per cent contraction in the third quarter. Agriculture declined 7.6 per cent, transport 7.2 per cent, construction 5.9 per cent, electricity 4 per cent and retail 3.8 per cent, the data showed.

The former minister tweeted on Saturday, saying that she met with President Cyril Ramaphosa, and members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council in Pretoria to discuss the way forward.

“With President Ramaphosa, members of cabinet, and members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council in Pretoria discussing sources of growth for the South African economy and win-win economic interactions with the continent,” she tweeted.

With President Ramaphosa, members of cabinet, and members of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council in Pretoria discussing sources of growth for the South African economy and win-win economic interactions with the continent.

Published in News Economy
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