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16 best last-minute gifts for the 2021 holidays everyone will love

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Holiday shopping is typically one of the more stressful parts of the season, and global shipping issues, inflation and supply chain woes have only added to the chaos this year. While current events could mean that the deadline to order many gifts and have them arrive in time for the holidays has already passed, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite last-minute gift ideas that you can order today and should arrive in time for the holidays.
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The best skin care gifts for 2021
The best last-minute gifts in 2021

To help you find the best last-minute gifts for your loved ones, we’ve perused our expert-recommended  shopping  guides across skin care, tech, home appliances and more. We’ve also included a few staff picks and other highly rated products based on Select reader interest.We pared down our picks below to only those products whose retailers offer expedited shipping right now — either included with a subscription or available for an added fee — and that aren’t impacted by global supply chain issues as of publish time.
Baked by Melissa Latest & Greatest Cupcakes

Baked by Melissa cupcakes are typically my go-to treat to send during a special occasion or holiday — they’re adorably bite-sized, beautifully crafted and delicious. The brand’s Latest & Greatest sampler comes with 25 of the most popular flavors, including Tie-Dye, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Red Velvet and Cookie Dough.
Baked by Melissa Latest & Greatest Cupcakes
$32.00
Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth Speaker

The Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth Speaker, which we previously highlighted in our guide to Bluetooth speakers, boasts IPX7 water resistance and features USB-C connectivity for wider compatibility with chargers and other devices. You also have the option to pair two Motion+ devices together to amplify the sound like a makeshift stereo system, according to Anker.
Anker Soundcore Motion+ Bluetooth Speaker
$105.99
$105.99
$135.00
Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails With a Literary Twist

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For the cocktail-loving book lover in your life, this cocktail book highlights 65 drink recipes inspired by famous novels throughout history. Each recipe includes witty, literary-infused commentary and whimsical illustrations. You can also find additional information to pair with your cocktail creations, including bar bites and drinking games.
Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist
$13.49
$15.00
Brooklinen Pure Wool Throw Blanket

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To help loved ones brace for the colder months, consider gifting this wool throw blanket from Select reader favorite brand Brooklinen. Made from 100 percent pure wool, this soft blanket is offered in two colors: Latte and Greige. If the blanket doesn’t live up to your standards, the brand says it will let you return or exchange the product if it’s within their one-year warranty period.
Brooklinen Pure Wool Throw Blanket
$203.15
$239.00
Vitruvi Stone Diffuser

The Vitruvi Stone Diffuser was one of our notable picks for essential oil diffusers. It features a sleek, porcelain design, and the brand says it has a seven-hour run time when used intermittently (or three hours straight). It can hold up to 90 milliliters of water and, according to Vitruvi, disperses mist in rooms up to 500 square feet. You have the option to purchase a variety of essential oils from the brand’s site, but you can also use any 100 percent pure essential oil with the device, according to the brand.
Vitruvi Stone Diffuser
$119.00
$119.00
$119.00
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Several Select staffers are fans of this Laneige lip mask for its sweet scent and hydrating formula. A great product for avoiding dry, chapped lips in the winter, according to the staffers who’ve used it, this lip mask comes in scents like Vanilla and Gingersnap. Dr. Annie Chiu recommended it in our guide to lip masks, noting it’s “rich in antioxidants and hyaluronic acid.”
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
$22.00
$22.00
$14.78
Bean Box Deluxe Coffee + Chocolate Tasting Box

For your coffee-obsessed loved ones, this gift box from Bean Box features eight bags of either whole bean or freshly ground coffee, along with eight chocolate bars to pair them with and tasting notes for each pairing. The 1.8-ounce bags of coffee in this box come from independent roasters across the country, according to Bean Box. If you’re looking to give a monthly subscription of coffee, BeanBox also has a couple of subscription plans to choose from.
Bean Box Deluxe Coffee + Chocolate Tasting Box
$68.99
$68.99
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

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The third-generation Echo Dot is a more affordable version of the Amazon Echo device. It’s compact and gives you access to Alexa, which you can use to check the weather, add reminders and make calls. You can also access smart home controls for convenience, according to Amazon.
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
$24.99
$39.99
$24.99
$39.99
$39.99
Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds

We featured this set of Jabra wireless earbuds in our guide to wireless earbuds and headphones. They’re small, light and water-resistant, and they feature touch controls that let you skip songs, answer calls and activate your phone’s voice assistant, Jabra says. They also have active noise cancellation but allow for “transparency mode,” which the brand says lets in ambient sound when you need it.
Jabra Elite 75t Earbuds
$79.99
$149.00
$149.99
BloomsyBox Bloomsy Original

BloomsyBox sends monthly blooms straight to your loved one’s door, according to the brand. The Bloomsy Original monthly plan delivers a hand-tied bouquet of 22 to 24 stems of seasonal flowers and, according to BloomsyBox, arrives within five days of being picked, ensuring they’re fresh. The box also comes with plant food and an informational card. You can choose the month-to-month plan or a three-, six- or 12-month prepaid plan.
BloomsyBox Bloomsy Original
$44.99
Dash Mini Maker Waffle Maker + Griddle

This waffle maker and griddle combo pack allows you to make a plethora of breakfast foods, from simple waffles and pancakes to hash browns and eggs, according to Dash. The devices each weigh around 1 pound and feature a nonstick surface and an indicator light that lets you know when it’s heated and ready to start cooking.
Dash Mini Maker Waffle Maker + Griddle
$24.99
YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler

This durable tumbler from YETI is one of our picks for the best travel mugs because of to its temperature retention and the magnetic slider on the lid for added protection. The dishwasher-safe tumbler features a stainless steel body with double-wall vacuum insulation and comes in over 20 colors, including White, Sky Blue, Brick Red and Navy.
YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler
$29.98
$29.99
$29.99
BalanceFrom Yoga Mat

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The BalanceFrom Yoga Mat can be a good gift for someone looking to get more into fitness and yoga. Select writer Rebecca Rodriguez recommended this mat in our staff sleep aids roundup and said she uses it during her pre-bedtime and morning yoga sessions. The BalanceFrom mat is 71 inches long and has a double-sided, nonslip surface. You can choose from multiple colors, including Purple, Green, Pink and Blue.
BalanceFrom Yoga Mat
$21.89
$49.95
$22.49
$28.26
$39.00
Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

For giftees who love to cook, this 6-quart Dutch oven from Lodge is made of durable cast iron with a chip-resistant, porcelain-enamel finish, according to the brand. Stefano Veila, owner of the blog Pala Pizza and former chef, called this a more affordable alternative to the popular Le Creuset Dutch oven in our guide to Dutch ovens and noted the heavy lid “is excellent for braising meats and keeping the heat and liquids in.” This Dutch oven comes in a variety of colors, including Desert Sage, Cranberry Red and Pumpkin Orange.
Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
$79.90
$115.00
$79.99
$79.90
$115.00
Mikasa Cheers White Wine Glasses

This highly rated set of four wine glasses has an average rating of 4.8 stars from over 5,700 Amazon reviews. Each stemmed glass holds 16 ounces of your drink of choice and comes with its own pattern. Select writer Justin Redman has had these wine glasses for over a year and appreciates their large size and cool designs.
Mikasa Cheers White Wine Glasses
$45.99
$59.99
$45.04
$106.00
YSense Women’s Plaid Scarf

This women’s scarf checks in at 79 inches by 29 inches, with a plaid pattern that comes in several different colors. According to the company, the material is made of a “cashmere-like” acrylic, cotton and yarn. It’s also highly rated, with an average rating of 4.6 stars from over 5,500 Amazon reviews.

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Experts Make Case For Convergence At Maiden SiBAN P2P Conference

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Financial and blockchain technology experts have called for a melting point of synergy and convergence for Centralised Finance-CeFi, Decentralised Finance-DeFi and Traditional Finance-TradFi in the country to foster progress and bring about mutually beneficial economic development in the country.

They made this call over the weekend at the inaugural peer-to-peer conference of the Stakeholders in Blockchain technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN) held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

These experts from across the world cutting across different segments in the alternative finance ecosystem spoke to the theme of the conference “CeFi, DeFi & TradFi: is there a need for Convergence in the Current Divergence?” Chief Olutoyin Oloniteru, Founder and Chairman, Crypto Economy Institute of Africa (CEIAfrica) commenced as the first keynote, speaking to the topic, “Emergence of CeFi, DeFi & TradFi: Securing the Future in the Current Divergence.”

Giving a global perspective to the theme of the discourse, Lars Seier Christensen, Chairman of Concordium who is a global pioneer in FX and derivative trading and a co-Founder & former Co-CEO of Saxo Bank addressed participants, speaking on the topic, “The Emergence of CeFi, DeFi and TradFi: a Concordium Perspective.”
Exploring the theme of the conference more broadly, more speakers also spoke at the panel sessions of the conference. In the first titled “Navigating the Opportunities and Risks in CeFi and DeFi, and Exploring Possible Opportunities in TradFi. In the highly engaging session, AbikureTega, Team Lead, Kumon Wallet; Chuta Chimezie, Founder, BNUG & Vice-President, BiCCoN; Eric Anan, Founder/CEO, Global DCA and Rume Ophi, Founder, Cryptopreacher Blockchain Academy were in their elements sharing knowledge on the subject matter. The session was moderated by Chioma Onyekelu, CCI, A&D Forensics.

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The last session was on “Crypto Exchanges and VASPs as Partners to Regulators and the Government: Where Innovation Meets Regulation.” Chiagozie Iwu, CEO, NaijaCrypto; Franklin Peters, CEO, BoundlessPay; Beverley Onyejianya-Agbakoba, Partner, Olisa wer e Agbakoba Legal; Oyewole Joledo, Snr. Manager, Paxful; Prince Nwafuru, Partner, The Law Suite; Ruth Iselama, CEO, Bitmama and Seun Dania, CEO, TradeFada were all panellists on this session.

Earlier in his address, President of SiBAN, Mr. Senator Ihenyen while welcoming participants to the event said that the conference was the association’s way of developing the industry. “What we represent is a self-regulatory body in Nigeria’s blockchain industry. With this conference, we want to have a platform where innovators, as well as policymakers and other stakeholders within and outside the industry can have conversations around blockchain adoption, policy and regulation.

“We are looking at P2P not inform of peer-to-peer transactions only but in terms of open one-on-one conversations where we have a marketplace of ideas about how Nigeria should go about maximising the opportunity provided by blockchain technology while also helping to minimise the risk. As a self-regulatory body in this space, we recognise that there are opportunities and that there are risks as well. How we respond to this is what matters,” he said.

Chairman of the P2P Conference Planning Committee, Jude Ozinegbe revealed that the overwhelming turnout by stakeholders in the financial sector especially those who play in the alternative finance segment is a huge indication of the sheer influence SiBAN commands. He also thanked organisations that have played onerous parts in the success of the conference through their partnership support and sponsorship.

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These organisations he noted include Alpha ltd, ABCC, BEI, thinkcrypto, Blockchain Vibes, Everest, Crypto Hills, Cryptopreacher Blockchain Academy, Sinso Technologies, Market Advance, Near Finance Protocol, Bitget, Empowered CryptoHub, Smart Investors Hub, Super Woman, GIDA, LUPPON, Finsmart, CryptoMart, MoEX Consult, among others.

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L-R: Mr. Senator Ihenyen, President, SiBAN; Chioma Onyekelu, Auditor, A&D Forensics; Chuta Chimezie, Founder BNUG; Paul Ezeafulukwe, Senior Business Developer Manager, Bitget; Rume ‘Cryptopreacher’ Ophi, Founder, Cryptopreacher Academy; Stanley Golomo, Founder, Farmchain Finance and Jude Ozinegbe, Chairman Organising Committee for Stakeholders in Blockchain Association of Nigeria’s maiden P2P Conference held over the weekend

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Panelists doing justice to the theme of the conference held over the weekend.

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Cross section of participants at the conference held over the weekend.

About SiBAN

Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN) is a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO), an association of blockchain & crypto industry players founded in 2018. Registered members work together to promote a free market for blockchain & crypto players by driving blockchain & crypto education, encouraging the adoption of model self-regulatory policies in accordance with global best practices, and collaborating with relevant bodies to ensure that innovation is not stifled by regulation, consumer protection and investor safety are safeguarded.

At the Nigeria Fintech Week 2021, SiBAN was recognized as “The Best Blockchain Association in Africa”.

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SiBAN Set To Hold Maiden P2P Conference, August 6

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Stakeholders in Blockchain Association of Nigeria (SiBAN) has announced that all arrangements to hold its inaugural Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Conference billed for the 6th of August, 2022 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, has been concluded.

Speaking recently to the media on the upcoming event, the President of SiBAN, Mr. Senator Ihenyen disclosed that the conference which will be a hybrid event is part of the association’s commitment to educating users and members of the public about blockchain technology, promoting its adoption by both private and public bodies, ensuring consumer protection and helping them safeguard against scams, while also working with regulators to help maximize the untapped potentials of blockchain technology.

“Blockchain is one of the biggest opportunities for Africa in the 4th Industrial Age. Nigeria is Africa’s biggest country and one of the biggest players on the globe. We understand the challenges in this ecosystem as well as opportunities for Nigerians. That is why we have lineup a rich crop of experienced and successful leaders in this space to speak on the theme, ‘CeFi, DeFi & TradFi: is there a need for Convergence in the Current Divergence,’” Ihenyen said.

Mr. Senator Ihenyen, President, SiBAN

“With this P2P Conference 2022 theme, we wish to have an open conversation about the emergence of blockchain technology, its application across the spectrum of CeFi, DeFi, and TradFi, and consider whether a convergence of these three is the better way to go for both innovators and regulators,” he explained.

Chairman of the Organising Committee for the conference, Jude Ozinegbe further revealed that the P2P Conference 2022 will be targeting up to 5000 participants, bringing players, policymakers, and the public together.

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Chukwuemeka Ezike, VP, Media & Publicity, SiBAN

Ozinegbe who is also the Convener of Cyberchain added: “the conference will provide participants with networking opportunities while serving as a vehicle to drive awareness of the economic value of what we do. Participants will also enjoy access to conference talks, workshops, and other learning opportunities and get to network with speakers, guests, and other conference participants,” he revealed.

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Vice President, Media and Publicity for the association, Chukwuemeka Ezike added that the P2P Conference 2022 will be free and opened to all to attend, however registration is compulsory and can be done at www.siban.org.ng/p2p-register.

Among the speakers SiBAN has lined up for the conference is Channels Television’s crypto market analyst and Founder of the prestigious CryptoPreacher Blockchain Academy CPBA, Rume Ophi (CryptoPreacher). He says that the leadership of the conference committee couldn’t have chosen a better theme in the face of the current economic realities of the country. Noting that Nigerians are at the forefront of the adoption and utilization of blockchain and cryptocurrency in Africa, Rume is optimistic that the quality of speakers at the conference will make invaluable contributions to the alternative finance space in Africa.

Jude Ozinegbe

Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN) is a Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO), an association of blockchain & crypto industry players founded in 2018. Registered members work together to promote a free market for blockchain & crypto players by driving blockchain & crypto education, encouraging the adoption of model self-regulatory policies in accordance with global best practices, and collaborating with relevant bodies to ensure that while innovation is not stifled by regulation, consumer protection and investor safety are safeguarded.

At the Nigeria Fintech Week 2021, SiBAN was recognized as “The Best Blockchain Association in Africa”.

To register for free, follow this link: www.siban.org.ng/p2p-register

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UBA announces Oliver Alawuba as new GMD (Photos)

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United Bank for Africa Plc, Africa’s global bank, has announced the appointment of Oliver Alawuba as Group Managing Director, overseeing all the group’s banking operations across its twenty African country network and globally in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France, and the United Arab Emirates.

Oliver Alawuba joined UBA in 1997 and has held a series of senior positions, including as the CEO of UBA Ghana, the CEO of UBA, Africa and most recently, as Group Deputy Managing Director.

“I am very pleased to announce Oliver Alawuba as the new Group Managing Director of the UBA Group. Oliver has extensive experience in Nigeria and our African network and is well equipped to advance our pan-African and global strategy. I have no doubt that Oliver will build on the legacy of Kennedy Uzoka, who has exemplified transformational leadership by championing a customer-first philosophy; launching our twentieth operation in Africa, UBA Mali; acquiring a wholesale banking licence for UBA UK in the United Kingdom; and opening our fourth global operation, UBA Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates,” UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, stated.

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Kennedy Uzoka, Tony Elumelu and Oliver Alawuba

Oliver Alawuba expressed his commitment to his new role as Group Managing Director saying, “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this great institution and would like to thank the UBA Group Chairman and the members of the Board of Directors for the confidence they have put in me to deliver the mandate.”

Alawuba takes on his new position from August 1, 2022, subject to approval by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

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Muyiwa Akinyemi was also appointed as Deputy Managing Director.  Muyiwa joined UBA in 1998, as a Senior Banking Officer in UBA’s Energy Bank, and has served the Group in Nigeria and our broader Africa network for twenty-four years.

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L-R: New Executive Director, North Bank, Ms Emem Usoro; Group Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu; New Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Oliver Alawuba; and New Deputy Managing Director, Muyiwa Akinyemi, during the corporate event to announce the appointments of new GMD and Executive Directors for UBA Group, held at the Tony Elumelu Amphitheatre, UBA House, Lagos on Monday

Other executive appointments included Sola Yomi-Ajayi as Executive Director, Treasury and International Banking, Ugochukwu Nwagodoh as Executive Director, Finance and Risk Management, Alex Alozie, Executive Director and Group Chief Operating Officer and Emem Usoro, Executive Director, North Bank.

Yomi-Ajayi has been with the group since 2004 and has considerable international experience, culminating in her appointment as CEO of UBA America, while Nwagodoh joined the group from PwC in October 2004. He has since held a series of significant roles in the areas of performance management, compliance, financial control and reporting.

It was in 2019 that Alozie joined the group and has been responsible for the group’s digital transformation and operational efficiencies, while Usoro joined in 2011 and has served in a series of senior regional appointments across Nigeria, covering the retail, corporate and public sectors.

The board also announced the retirements of the following executive directors, who have completed their tenures. They included Kennedy Uzoka, Uche Ike, Chukwuma Nweke, Ibrahim Puri and Chiugo Ndubisi. Freelanews was informed that most of them will continue to serve the broader group upon regulatory approval of a holding company structure.

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A further announcement was made on the retirement of a non-executive director, Ambassador Joe C. Keshi, OON, who served as vice chairman of the board.  This takes effect from August 1, 2022 after a completion of his tenure of twelve years.

The group chairman congratulated the retiring directors on the completion of their tenors and their exemplary records.

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United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally.  Operating in twenty African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

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