The Central Bank of Nigeria has granted Fidelity Bank Plc final licence to operate electronic commerce services in Nigeria.
In a statement on Thursday, it said the development would enable the lender to empower Micro Small Medium Enterprises in line with its strategic business objectives.
The platform, dubbed ‘The Fidelity GreenMall,’ is an online marketplace with fully integrated e-commerce capabilities for online payments, delivery logistics, advertising, and business networking opportunities, among others.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, was quoted as saying that the bank had always seen access to markets as critical success factor in its quest to deepen the MSME service offering.
He added that with the approval and given the rapid increase in Internet penetration, there would be an opportunity to further open up new markets for the MSMEs using technology.
According to him, the CBN’s decision to grant the lender the licence to rollout electronic commerce services is driven by its unique approach to financial inclusion.
He noted that many of the MSMEs lacked requisite expertise and capacity to manage an online store thereby making it difficult for them to make sales.
Other constraints that hamper the growth of the MSMEs, according to him, are inadequate funding, poor record keeping, lack of requisite technology tools and epileptic power supply in the country.
He advised small businesses to take advantage of the online platform to boost their revenues and income by trading on local and international arena.
Okonkwo pointed out that e-commerce had gained recognition in national and international trade, disclosing that the bank was planning to strengthen the level of participation of Nigerian SMEs in the global e-commerce sales.
Former Goldman Sachs Managing Director, Gurbhej Dhillon Joins Flutterwave as New the CTO
Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company, today announced the appointment of former Goldman Sachs’ Managing Director, Gurbhej Dhillon as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Gurbhej joins at a key time for Flutterwave, following its recently completed Series D funding round, valuing the company at over USD 3 billion, and maintaining its rapid expansion.
As the new CTO, Gurbhej will be responsible for the further development of Flutterwave’s innovative technology platform which currently supports integrations with key technology partners like VISA, Mastercard, Discover Card Networks, and customers like Uber, Flywire, Booking.com etc. He will focus on improving the architecture and infrastructure, as well as providing leadership enabling other engineering and product leaders to create the best solutions that support business growth for customers.
Gurbhej joins Flutterwave from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, where he was the CTO and Head of Lending Engineering. He has extensive experience in enterprise application architecture across financial services and consumer businesses. At Marcus, he was responsible for launching platforms to significantly grow businesses while improving customer experience and established strategic partnerships with several Fortune 500 companies.
Prior to that, Gurbhej was CTO for Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Capital Markets team, responsible for the design, architecture, and build-out of strategic platforms that enabled clients to execute equity and debt product offerings.
Gurbhej is a great supporter of the Developer Community in Africa and admires the work they have done in recent times, building creative solutions at a world-class standard.
In his role as CTO of Africa’s leading technology company, Gurbhej hopes to support the Community to attain higher levels.
Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said: “I look forward to working closely with Gurbhej as we continue to expand rapidly. With the needs of our customers constantly evolving, we remain focused on driving further innovation across the business and continuing to develop our cutting-edge technology platform that simplifies payments and connects the African market with the world. Gurbhej’s experience and deep expertise in developing financial technology platforms will be instrumental in Flutterwave’s further growth.”
Commenting on his appointment, Gurbhej Dhillon said: “I am delighted to be joining the Flutterwave team at such an exciting time for the company. As a leading financial technology company in Africa, Flutterwave is well-positioned to capitalise on the global trends in payment digitisation and continues to drive Africa’s digital transformation, creating further opportunities for customers and merchants alike. It is a very crowded market with lots of new entrants so it is vital that we as a company continually look to innovate our products and services, improve our existing architecture and create endless possibilities for everyone.”
Bankman-Fried’s FTX Says no Talks to Acquire Robinhood
Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX crypto exchange said it is not in talks to acquire Robinhood Markets Inc, after a report on Monday claimed the exchange was exploring such a deal.
Bloomberg News reported on Monday FTX was discussing internally how to buy the app-based brokerage and that Robinhood had not received a formal takeover approach, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
“There are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood,” Bankman-Fried said in an emailed statement.”We are excited about Robinhood’s business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them.”
Robinhood declined to comment. The retail-trading platform’s shares were down 5% in extended trading after jumping over 14% on the report.
Last month, the founder and chief executive of FTX revealed a 7.6% stake in Robinhood but said he did not have any intention of taking control of the retail-trading platform.
Robinhood’s dual-class shares give its founders control of 64% of the voting shares outstanding, making it virtually impossible for takeovers without their support.
The popular trading platform has come under pressure this year as trading volumes ease from 2021’s frenetic pace – when retail investors used it to pump money into shares of so-called meme stocks such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment.
That slowdown, along with a sell-off in high-growth technology stocks, has driven a near 50% slump in Robinhood shares this year. The company had a market valuation of nearly $7 billion as of Friday’s closing price.
FTX’s U.S. arm announced in May it would launch a stock trading platform by the end of the summer. Last week, it acquired partner Embedded Financial Technologies for an undisclosed amount, which would add custody, execution and clearing services to its equity trading platform.
FTX and its billionaire founder Bankman-Fried have rescued other players during the crypto market’s recent crash. It provided crypto lender BlockFi with a $250 million revolving credit facility to help the firm avoid a liquidity crunch.
Heavy Rains Help Ivory Coast Cocoa, But Some Farmers Fear Flooding
Above-average rains last week in most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions were good for development of the next October-to-March main crop, but much more moisture could be damaging, farmers said on Monday.
The world’s top cocoa-producing country is in its rainy season from April to mid-November, with farmers reporting unusually heavy rains last week in the western region of Soubre, the southern regions of Agboville and Divo and the eastern region of Abengourou.
It was difficult to harvest pods on trees for the mid-crop, and also to dry and store beans after harvesting, farmers said.
“The rains were very strong. It’s hard to keep the beans in good condition,” said Alexandre Boni, who farms near Agboville, where 128.1 mm of rain fell, 70 mm above the five-year average.
“There is also a risk that some fields will be flooded,” he added.
Similar fears were voiced in Soubre and Abengourou, both of which had more than 99 mm of rain last week, 47.5 mm and 46.7 mm above their respective five-year averages.
In the west-central region of Daloa and in the central regions of Bongouanou and Yamoussoukro, where rains were also above average, farmers said they were happy because flowers were proliferating on trees for a strong start to the main crop in October.
“The weather is good. We could be getting a lot of cocoa from September,” said Amani N’Guessan, who farms near Yamoussoukro, where 71.8 mm fell last week, 44 mm above the average.
Weekly average temperatures ranged from 24.8 to 27.7 degrees Celsius.
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