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FG to Review National Broadband Plan in 2018

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  • FG to Review National Broadband Plan in 2018

Unsatisfied with the implementation process of Nigerian National Broadband Plan, which has a five year longevity period, the federal government has said it will review the plan by the end of 2018, when its longevity period will elapse.

Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who made the disclosure in an interview in Lagos, said the review would be necessary in order to finetune its contents, in line with global technology trends. He also said timeframe would be considered in achieving certain parameters in the reviewed broadband plan, in order to speed up broadband penetration in the country.

“We have a broadband plan that is designed to make broadband available to all Nigerians. The broadband plan is a five year plan from 2013 to 2018, but hopefully it will be reviewed by the end of next year. By next year we will review the broadband plan and come up with new plan that will catchup with modern technology trends,” Shittu said.

Analysing the plan further, the minister said the target of 30 per cent broadband penetration as enshrined in the plan was even a low target for Nigeria, considering the clamour for ubiquitous broadband access by Nigerians.

He however expressed optimism that the country would surpass the 30 per cent penetration target, given the current statistics, which he said, showed some significant growth level in the country’s broadband penetration.

According to him, “broadband is the enabler to technology development of any nation. The issue of broadband accessibility is the key to technology development. So government wants Nigerians to come together and ensure that broadband is accessible and affordable to all Nigerians. Government is encouraging private sector investment in broadband in order to make it accessible and affordable,” Shittu assured Nigerians.

He however explained that the existing broadband infrastructure in the country would be improved to make broadband not only ubiquitous, but also accessible and affordable.

Giving some clues on how government plans to boost broadband growth in the country, Shittu said government has opened talks with Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) to collaborate with it in making broadband internet affordable to all Nigerians.

Shittu added: ’’This government had long considered it that it has no business in business. All that the government needs do is to provide the enabling environment for ICT-led industry businesses to thrive. We have been having some financial interventions through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Government is also getting funding from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and other agencies to support various government projects, which include broadband penetration.’’

The federal government, through the Ministry of Communications Technology, had in 2012, set up a presidential committee on national broadband plan, with the former Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe as Chairman of the committee and the Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia as co-Chairman.

The committee, which submitted its report timely enough, was applauded for a thorough job done, but Nigerians have not been pleased with the actions of those who were supposed to drive the implementation process of the broadband plan, while blaming the slow broadband penetration on the poor implementation process of the broadband plan.

Worried about the implementation process, the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body of all computer professionals in the country, had earlier called on the federal government to expedite the full implementation of the country’s five year broadband plan.

President of NCS, Prof. Adesola Aderounmu, who called for diligent implementation of the plan, emphasised the need for the immediate enactment of a critical National Infrastructure Bill, which he said, would help deepen broadband penetration, spur economic growth and attain national safety and security.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Interswitch is the Most Valuable African Startup

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Interswitch, the leading payment processing company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, is Africa’s most valuable start-up at a US$ 1 billion valuation.

Founded in 2002, Interswitch uses switching infrastructure to connect different banks in Nigeria and powered banks’ ATM cards. Presently, the company has over 11,000 ATMs on its network.

In 2010, Helios Investment Partners bought two-thirds of the company and in the following year, Interswitch bought a 60 percent stake in Bankom in Uganda.

Interswitch owns Verve, Nigeria’s most used payment card, and accounted for 18 million of 25 million cards in circulation in Nigeria. The company also owns Quickteller and recently purchased VANSO, a mobile-focused technology provider to banks.

Like Interswitch, Stripe, the company that acquired Nigeria’s Paystack for over US$200 million, is the most valuable startup in the USA at over US$70 billion valuation.

Klarna, Nubank, Paytm and Grab leads in Europe, Latin America, India and Southeast Asia with valuations of US$10.65 billion, US$10 billion, US$16 billion and US$14 billion, respectively.

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E-commerce Black Friday Sales Estimated to Surge by 40% to 10.2 Billion

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The 2020 holiday shopping season will be unique, as the pandemic shifted consumer behavior from retail stores to online shopping. In response, many retailers moved their services online to not miss out on this year’s profits. Atlas VPN team decided to look into how e-commerce sales are set to perform in the upcoming long weekend.

Researchers predict that the US e-commerce revenue will exceed last year’s earnings by 49.5% on Thanksgiving day, totaling $6.18 billion in revenue. Black Friday is calculated to reach $10.2 billion in sales, exceeding last years numbers by 39.4%

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her tips on how to stay safe when shopping online during the holiday season:

“Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals from unknown sellers, as cybercriminals will also expect to turn a profit during the holiday season, even though they are not selling anything, except maybe a bag full of disappointment.”

 Finally, analysis shows that on the last day of the long and full of special offers Thanksgiving weekend, consumers will go all out to bring record sales for e-commerce businesses, adding up to $12.89 billion.

To look at these five days from a wider perspective, e-commerce companies can expect to earn around 39.72% more than they did last year.

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Alibaba Merchants Sell $40B in First Half Hour of Singles Day 2020, More than 2019 Event Full Sales

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Singles Day 2020 was a roaring success, cementing its position as the world’s biggest shopping holiday. Sales across Alibaba’s platforms during the event totaled $74.1 billion, up from $38 billion in 2019.

According to the research data analyzed and published by Stock Apps, within the first 30 minutes of the event, the gross merchandise volume (GMV) surpassed 2019’s full-event sales, reaching $40.87 billion.

Moreover, instead of live events, Alibaba had 400 company executives and 30 celebrities hosting livestreams. Based on a study by Coresight, the Chinese livestream market is set to rack in sales worth $125 billion in 2020, compared to $63 billion in 2019. The US livestream market is a small fraction of that, valued at $5 billion.

China’s Tech Heavyweights Lose $280 Billion in Market Cap

Alibaba Singles Day 2020 dwarfed other major shopping holidays as has been the trend in previous years.

According to Practical eCommerce, Amazon Prime Day 2020 sales totaled $10.4 billion up from $7.16 billion in 2019. Cyber Monday sales in the US amounted to $7.9 billion in 2020 according to Statista. Black Friday and Thanksgiving added $9.7 billion to the figure to make $17.6 billion for the weekend.

Similarly, in 2018, Singles Day sold $30.8 billion while Prime Day sold $4.19 billion and Thanksgiving weekend got $14.2 billion.

However, the 2020 Singles Day event came in the wake of Ant Group’s suspension of a $37 billion listing. The suspension resulted in a $76 billion drop in Alibaba’s market cap, as the tech giant owns a two-thirds stake in Ant Group. Moreover, China’s regulators released anti-trust draft rules prior to the event, aimed at controlling monopolistic behavior.

Following the release, Alibaba shares plunged by 9.8%, as JD.com shed off 9.2%. Tencent similarly saw a 7.39% drop and Xiaomi fell by 8.18%. For the five companies, there was a combined loss of $280 billion in market capitalization.

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