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Tech Expert, Zuckerberg trains with UFC champions, Adesanya, Alexander

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The Meta Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg, on Tuesday, was pictured training with UFC champions, Israel Adesanya and Alexander Volkanovski.

The picture of his training session with the UFC champions has further increased speculations on the possibility of an MMA fight between him and Twitter CEO, Elon Musk.

Recall that the prospect of an MMA showdown between the tech gurus started as an online banter some weeks back.

However, tension has heightened between the duo since Zuckerberg launched his Twitter-like app called Threads.

Threads launched on July 5, 2023, and has since gathered more than 100 million users worldwide.

However, Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO believes Threads was only made possible by “cheating.”

Musk stated this while responding to a tweet reporting that Twitter was threatening to sue Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta for cheating with its new app Threads on Friday, July 7, 2023. Musk tweeted, “Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

As arguments heated over the new app online, the two tech moguls have once again renewed their banter challenge on having a showdown cage fight.

However, while some viewed the challenge for an MMA fight as playful banter between the influential figures, the anticipation surrounding this unlikely showdown continued to grow with both of them pictured training with MMA fighters.

Meanwhile, Zuckerberg while reacting to his picture with the UFC champions – Adesanya and Volkanovski wrote, “It’s an honour to train with you guys!”

Responding, “The Last Stylebender’ who posted photos of the training session, wrote, “No fugazi with Mark. This is Serious Business.”

Also, Volkanovski, the UFC featherweight kingpin responded, “@zuck you’re a beast! Always great to catch up.”

Musk also looks to be in a training session already as he was also spotted with UFC legend Georges St-Pierre on Tuesday, July 3, 2023.

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JUST IN: Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo Orders Resumption of Emirates Flights

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Air travelers between Nigeria and the UAE are now free to travel as the Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo orders the resumption of Emirate flights. The long-awaited resumption of Emirates Airlines’ flight operations to Nigeria is finally happening.

However, it’s been a rollercoaster for Nigerians wanting to travel to the UAE. The blanket visa ban imposed by the UAE on Nigerians in October 2022 caused a halt in Emirates Airlines’ flights to Nigeria the following month.

The false claim in September 2023 about an immediate resumption of flights after President Bola Tinubu’s meeting with the President of the UAE dashed hopes for many.

But now, with Festus Keyamo’s announcement of a confirmed date for the resumption of flights, there’s renewed optimism. It’s been a challenging time for both countries and travelers, and the resumption will hopefully mark the start of smoother travel between Nigeria and the UAE.

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UBA releases financial results for the first quarter ended March 31st, 2024

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……Solid Start to 2024, UBA Consolidates Gains as Gross Earnings Rise by 110%, Profit for [Quarter] Hits N156bn – delivering a YoY growth of 165%

United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) has once again demonstrated its strong performance with remarkable growth across key financial indicators in the first quarter of 2024. Compared to the same period in 2023, UBA’s financial results for Q1 2024 showed substantial increases in gross earnings, interest income, operating income, profit before tax, and profit after tax.

Gross Earnings surged by an impressive 110%, reaching N570.2 billion, while Interest Income grew by 130% to N440.7 billion. Operating Income also increased significantly by 115% to N378.59 billion. These figures underscore UBA’s robust growth trajectory and its ability to generate substantial revenues.

Profit Before Tax saw a remarkable rise of 155%, from N61.7 billion in Q1 2023 to N156.34 billion in Q1 2024. Similarly, Profit After Tax experienced a substantial increase of 165%, soaring from N53.5 billion to N142.5 billion year-on-year. These outstanding profit figures reflect UBA’s effective execution of its strategic initiatives and its commitment to delivering value to shareholders.

According to Oliver Alawuba, UBA’s Group Managing Director, the strong performance in Q1 2024 builds on the momentum of the previous year and is a testament to the Group’s customer-centric approach, geographic diversification, and robust risk management practices.

The growth in gross earnings was supported by strong interest and non-interest income, with fees and commissions rising by 118% year-on-year. Alawuba emphasized the importance of digital adoption and improved efficiencies in driving customer satisfaction and operational excellence, maintaining the Group’s cost-to-income ratio at 57.8%.

Ugo Nwaghodoh, UBA’s Executive Director, Finance and Risk, highlighted the Group’s relentless focus on customer satisfaction and its successful geographic and product diversification strategies. He stressed the importance of maintaining high-quality risk-adjusted revenues and cost discipline while improving asset quality.

UBA’s balance sheet showed steady growth, with total assets increasing by 23% to N25.4 trillion, and customer deposits reaching N18.4 trillion, a 23% increase year-on-year. This growth was largely driven by increases in current and savings accounts, reflecting the Group’s continued ability to attract and retain customers.

With a presence in over 20 African countries and across 4 continents, UBA is well-positioned to continue its growth trajectory and contribute meaningfully to inclusive economic development across its network. Through its retail, commercial, and corporate banking services, as well as innovative cross-border payments and trade finance solutions, UBA remains committed to connecting people and businesses across Africa and beyond.

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FX crisis: Nigerian Govt to delist Naira from peer-to-peer platforms

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The Federal Government has revealed its intention to remove the Naira from all peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms. Emomotimi Agama, the Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, made this announcement during a virtual meeting with blockchain stakeholders on Monday.

This move is aimed at addressing the manipulation of the local currency’s value in the foreign exchange market. Regulatory authorities in the country have been investigating and closely monitoring cryptocurrency exchanges in recent months.

On March 8, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, ceased its Naira services.

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