- Germany to Assist Nigeria Develop Smart Cities
Germany has expressed willingness to assist Nigeria improve her urban areas through the development of the ‘Smart City’ initiative.
German Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Bernhard Schlagheck, who made the disclosure thursday in a goodwill message at the close of a two-day Summit on Smart Cities in Abuja, said his country is ready to partner Nigeria from the debate stage right through to the implementation level.
The summit organised by the Ministry of Communications with the theme: `Leveraging on Technology Solutions to Improve the Efficiency of Cities’, was aimed at assessing the preparedness, unique challenges and emerging solutions necessary for sustainable smart city initiative in Nigeria.
Schlagheck said his country wants to partner Nigeria in this regard because it believes it is the right way to go if Nigeria must overcome issues associated with urbanisation and development.
The envoy commended the organisers of the summit for the timely convergence of relevant stakeholders to tackle the issue of urban development.
According to him, no less than two third of world population would be living in cities within the next few years. He said this may likely pose a plethora of challenges to Nigeria if proactive actions are not made to address the development.
He identified factors such as infrastructural deficiency, lack of planning, insecurity among others as the bane of Nigeria’s development, noting that these challenges can be surmounted with the deployment of relevant modern technologies.
Also speaking, Managing Director of Huawei Nigeria, Tank Li, noted that the development and widespread application of digital technologies to transform lives and economies have become the order of the day.
He said ICT-enabled technologies and solutions have the huge potential to serve as a major accelerator of the vision of ‘Smart Nigeria Digital Economy’ and its sustainable development goal.
Huawei Nigeria boss commended the federal government’s plan to launch the ‘Smart Nigeria Digital Economy Project’ aimed to solve efficiency problems and create leapfrog opportunities in the economy for the next 10 years.
“Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said the financial services within the country’s digital economy would add $88 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP) and create more than 3 million jobs within 10 years.
“The potential gains of the digital economy will manifest in digital accounts, payments, mobile money, health and educational services along with other sectors of the economy,” he said.
While stating that Huawei as a global leading ICT solution provider has strong presence in over 170 countries and regions, including Nigeria, Li assured Nigeria of Huawei’s readiness to help the country to bridge her digital divide as well as building a Smart Nigeria!
He disclosed that relevant ICT products that would make Nigerian cities smarter are not only available in the country today, but are already been deployed across states of the federation.
According to him the deployment of high sensitive digital cameras connected to a central data system in places where they are in use is beginning to reduce crime level in such places.
Li expressed confidence that when Nigerian cities become safer through the deployment of the Safe City Solutions, foreigners would want to come and invest in the country.
Prestige Assurance Grows Profit by 25.17 Percent to N776.500 Million in H1 2021
Prestige Assurance Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading insurance firms, grew profit after tax by 25.17 percent from N620.348 million recorded in the first quarter (H1) of 2020 to N776.500 million in the first half of 2021.
The insurance firm disclosed in its unaudited financial statement released on Tuesday and obtained by Investors King.
Gross premium written increased by 38.86 percent to N5.434 billion in H1 2021, up from N3.913 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2020.
Net premium income also grew by 34.82 percent from N1.916 billion in H1 2020 to N2.584 billion in H1 2021. While underwriting expenses expanded to N2.262 billion in the period under review, up by 51.43 percent when compared to N1.494 billion filed in the same period of 2020.
Similarly, interest income jumped by 59.40 percent from N232.924 million in H1 2020 to N371.279 million in H1 2021. Other investment income and other operating income appreciated by 30.96 percent and 83.74 percent from N145.803 million and N7.264 million in H1 2020 to N190.947 million and N13.347 million in H1 2021, respectively.
Profit before tax inched higher by 14.22 percent to N970.624 million in H1 2021 from N849.792 million in H1 2020.
Profit after tax rose by 25.17 percent to N776.500 million in the period under review.
Total assets expanded to N19.423 billion in the first half of 2021, representing 4.96 percent when compared to N18.505 billion.
Basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share grew by 25.17 percent each to N5.86 each.
Coca-Cola Creates Its First Collection Of Brand-Inspired NFTs
Coca-Cola has partnered with digital art and avatar company Tafi to launch its first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs are unique digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain and represent different types of files like images, audio, and video.
The collection, which Coca-Cola is offering to celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30, features an NFT “loot box” which contains digital wearables designed by Tafi.
Buyers can bid on the Coca-Cola Friendship Box, a digital version of a collectible vending machine, which comes with three one-of-a-kind digital assets: a custom Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable, which can be worn in virtual world Decentraland; The Sound Visualizer, which captures different audio cues like the pop of a bottle opening or the sound of the soda being poured over ice; and The Friendship Card, a digital design inspired by the company’s friendship-inspired trading cards released in the 1940s.
“Each NFT was created to celebrate elements that are core to the Coca-Cola brand reinterpreted for a virtual world in new and exciting ways,” said the president of the global Coca-Cola trademark, Selman Careaga. “We are excited to share our first NFTs with the metaverse where new friendships are being forced in new ways in new worlds.”
Besides the one-of-a-kind collectibles, the winning bidder will also have access to “additional unique and valuable surprises,” which will be unveiled when the loot box is digitally opened.
The sale, which will take place on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea, will open on July 30 and close on August 2. All bids must be placed with ETH.
All Coca-Cola proceeds from the auction will be donated to Special Olympics International, a global sports organization that provides children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, with year-round training and activities.
PiggyVest Acquires Savi.ng To Expand Operations
The Nigeria-based wealth management app giant, PiggyVest announced that it has acquired a smaller competitor Savi.ng.
Until the acquisition, Savi.ng was a wealth management app launched in 2018 that allowed users to save via various features like automated savings, fixed deposits, joint savings and PAYE.
According to the company, discussions to buy Savi.ng which started earlier this year has now been completed. However, the cost of acquisition was not disclosed.
Under the deal, all existing Savi.ng users will be automatically migrated to Piggyvest. Savi.ng was founded in 2018 by VFD Microfinance and currently has ten thousand plus downloads on Google Playstore. PiggyVest’s android app on the other hand has got one million-plus downloads.
Speaking on the acquisition, PiggyVest says it is in line with its vision of providing financial freedom for all. “It’s more of a team acquisition,” PiggyVest co-founder, Joshua Chibueze, explained to TechCabal over a call.
The team behind Savi are reputed to have solid expertise in finance and are savvy with financial tools. This talent quality prompted PiggyVest’s move to acquire the wealth management startup.
“Fintech is two things. Fin and tech. We believe we are as good at tech and customer acquisition so we need as many financial players as possible to consolidate what we are trying to do,” Chibueze adds.
The acquisition consolidates PiggyVest’s growth and capacity to dominate Nigeria’s hotly competitive savings and investment space. Last year, it paid back NGN90 billion ($220 million) to users which currently numbers up to 3 million.
The move also signals a positive trend for Africa’s local startup ecosystem – that it is possible to build for the sole purpose of selling to a larger player in the same sector.
Earlier this year, Piggyvest partnered uduX to help Nigerians invest in their favorite musicians. This shows how broadly the company is looking to expand its investment opportunities.
PiggyVest revealed that there are more acquisition announcements to come in the year.
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