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Unity Bank breaks barriers, introduces USSD code in local Nigerian languages

Unity Bank’s Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) now communicates to the bank’s customers in Nigeria’s local language.



Unity Bank introduces USSD code in Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo languages

Unity Bank’s Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) now communicates to the bank’s customers in Nigeria’s local language. The USSD code, which is one of many channels banks use to offer their services, is mainly in English, but Unity Bank has become the first to offer the service in Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo.

USSD is one of the innovations from the advancement of technology and has become a very popular option among bank customers. But Unity Bank has taken it a notch higher with the input of language which makes the USSD feature flexible for its customers.

So, from now on, when the bank’s customers dial the shortcode, *7799#, they can select their preferred languages to conduct their transactions.

“The upgrade in the features of the transaction the platform is part of Unity Bank’s initiatives aimed at achieving an optimal level of interaction on the USSD banking channel.

“It is targeted at market segments at the lower level of the pyramid intended to drive greater financial inclusion in the country as well as deploy more solutions for fast, efficient and convenient banking, whilst targeting the underbanked,” Unity Bank said.

(READ MORE: Law Union, Lafarge, Unity Bank lead gainers’ chart on Tuesday) 

The solution will boost existing e-payment channels available to the bank’s customers to further drive customer experience, Olufunwa Akinmade, the Group Head, Retail, SME & E-Business for Unity Bank said.

This change will heighten competition: This change will be a welcome development for Nigerians who don’t understand the English language and could further deepen the penetration of Unity Bank among the rural areas and native speaking communities which are underbanked and underserved due to their inability to communicate in English.

Even without the preferred language option, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBBS) said USSD transactions grew by 35% in 2018 to N261 million from 25% in 2017. The new feature will increase the popularity of USSD among Nigerians, and in order not to lose their customers to Unity Bank, other banks will likely adopt the same feature to maintain their grip on existing customers and attract more from the lower end of the customer base, leading to intense competition.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Covid-19: WHO approves China’s Sinopharm vaccine

WHO has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination.



Covid-19: First world nations oppose waiving intellectual rights for vaccine development

The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the approval of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 vaccination.  The vaccine is reported to have 79% efficacy against covid.

This was disclosed today in a report by Reuters. The vaccine would also be the second Chinese-made vaccine after Sinovac vaccine and would be the first developed outside Europe and North America to receive WHO accreditation.

“This expands the list of COVID-19 vaccines that COVAX can buy, and gives countries confidence to expedite their own regulatory approval, and to import and administer a vaccine,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The WHO added that the easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings.

“Its easy storage requirements make it highly suitable for low-resource settings,” a WHO statement said while also disclosing that the vaccine has been approved for people above the age of 18 to receive two shots.

“On the basis of all available evidence, WHO recommends the vaccine for adults 18 years and older, in a two-dose schedule with a spacing of three to four weeks,” the statement added.

The vaccine was created by Beijing Biological Products Institute, a subsidiary of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group, with an efficacy of 79% for all age groups.

The WHO however, admitted that few older adults (over 60 years) were enrolled in clinical trials, so efficacy could not be estimated in this age group.


In case you missed it

The quest for vaccine efficiency got a major boost earlier this week as Nairametrics reported that the United States government announced that it supports the waiver of Intellectual Property Protections on Covid-19 vaccine development, in a bid to boost the fight against the pandemic, and says it will participate in the Okonjo-Iweala-led WTO negotiation to make it happen.

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“Mama Taraba”, Former minister and senator, Aisha Al-Hassan is dead

Ex-Women Affairs minister, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead



A former Minister for Women Affairs and ex-Governorship Candidate in Taraba State, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead.

According to media reports she died in a hospital on Friday in Cairo, Egypt at the age of 61.

Al-Hassan, who was a former senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Taraba North Senatorial District, was the All Progressive Congress (APC) Governorship Candidate for Taraba in the 2015 general elections.

READ: Abba Kyari’s last letter to President Buhari

She later contested for the same seat on the platform of the United Democratic Party in the 2019 general elections after resigning from APC and as a minister in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on July 27, 2018.

The former senator was born on the 16th of September, 1959 in Jalingo, Taraba State, to Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim, Sarkin Ayukan Muri.

READ: Chad’s President Deby dies of injuries suffered on the frontlines, as son takes over

Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan attended Muhammed Nya Primary School, Jalingo and LEA Primary School, Tudun Wada, Kaduna before proceeding to Saint Faith College (now GGSS) Kawo Kaduna where she studied between January 1973 and June 1977.


Details later…

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