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Carabao Cup: Merson defends Chelsea star, warns Pochettino

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Arsenal legend Paul Merson has defended Chelsea forward Cole Palmer ahead of the Blues’ Carabao Cup semi-final second leg tie with Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

Merson also issued a warning to Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino ahead of the Middlesbrough clash.

Recall that Palmer missed good chances as Pochettino’s side lost 1-0 against the Championship club in the semi-final first-leg encounter earlier this month.

“If they [Chelsea] did lose to Middlesbrough, where would it leave Mauricio Pochettino? Middlesbrough will try to get out and frustrate Chelsea,” Merson told Sky Sports.

“They have got to take it in segments, maybe 10 minutes or 20 minutes at a time. Middlesbrough just need to get through the first 20 minutes but if they don’t, I will be shocked. Chelsea don’t blow teams away so Middlesbrough will be in this game for a long time.

“Cole Palmer just had one of those days in the first game. He’s a top player and I don’t look at that performance and go, ‘He can’t do it at the top level’ – he got in the positions but he’s not a natural finisher.

“No disrespect to him but when he went through one-on-one and dragged it past the post, that is normal. It just showed it didn’t fall at his feet the other day.”

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Tinubu approves take-off of N100bn consumer credit for Nigerians

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President Bola Tinubu has approved the commencement of the N100 billion Consumer Credit Scheme for Nigerians amid escalating economic hardship in the country.

Ajuri Ngelale, the President’s spokesperson, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

He stated that interested Nigerians are expected to visit the portal of Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation before May 15, 2024.

“Consumer credit serves as the lifeblood of modern economies, enabling citizens to enhance their quality of life by accessing goods and services upfront, paying responsibly over time. It facilitates crucial purchases, such as homes, vehicles, education, and healthcare, which are essential for ongoing stability and the pursuit of their aspirations.

“Individuals build credit histories through responsible repayment, unlocking more opportunities for a better life. The increased demand for goods and services also stimulates local industry and job creation.

“The President believes every hardworking Nigerian should have access to social mobility, with consumer credit playing a pivotal role in achieving this vision.

“The Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CREDICORP) achieves its mandate through the following: Strengthening Nigeria’s credit reporting systems and ensuring every economically active citizen has a dependable credit score. This score becomes personal equity they build, facilitating access to consumer credit, Offering credit guarantees and wholesale lending to financial institutions dedicated to broadening consumer credit access today and Promoting responsible consumer credit as a pathway to an improved quality of life, fostering a cultural shift towards growth and financial responsibility.

“In line with the President’s directive to expand consumer credit access to Nigerians, the Nigerian Consumer Credit Corporation (CREDICORP) has launched a portal for Nigerians to express interest in receiving consumer credit.

“This initiative, in collaboration with financial institutions and cooperatives nationwide, aims to broaden consumer credit availability.

“Working Nigerians interested in receiving consumer credit can visit www.credicorp.ng to express interest. The deadline is May 15, 2024.

“The scheme will be rolled out in phases, starting with members of the civil service and cascading to members of the public,” the statement said.

Recall that two months ago, a presidential spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, announced that the Federal Executive Council had given the nod for the establishment of the Consumer Credit Scheme.

He said the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, will lead a committee that includes the Budget Minister, Attorney-General, and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance to make the scheme a reality.

In March, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service Chairman, Zacch Adedeji, said the Nigerian government would unveil its proposed N100 billion consumer credit loan in a few days.

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Nigerian Govt grounds Dana Air operations

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The Nigerian Government has suspended the operations of Dana Air.

The order followed an incident involving a Dana Air plane at Lagos airport on April 23, which forced aviation authorities to divert flights from local to international airport.

The decision was announced by Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo.

Details shortly…

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CBN disowns notice on cryptocurrency transactions

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The Central Bank of Nigeria says a notice circulating on social media about the risk of cryptocurrency is fake news.

The Apex disclosed this via its official X account, urging the public to disregard the purported notice for all Deposits Money Bank, Non-Bank Financial Institutions, and other Financial Institutions.

The notice reminded “Institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited”.

However, CBN said the content doesn’t originate from it.

“This information does not originate from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“For authentic updates, please visit the official website,” CBN wrote.

Recall that the CBN governor, during the Bank’s 293rd Monetary Policy Committee meeting, said over $26 billion funnelled through Binance.

On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said the anti-graft agency froze about 300 accounts to ensure the safety of the foreign exchange market.

The Nigerian government had continued clamping down on Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid efforts to defend the Naira in the foreign exchange market.

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