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Experts Seek Policy to Drive PoS Penetration

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point of sales
  • Experts Seek Policy to Drive PoS Penetration

Inadequate investments in Point of Sales (PoS) terminals have been identified as one of the major reasons the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) Cashless Economy initiative is not connecting as it should. Nigeria currently has about 150,000 terminals, which have been identified as grossly too inadequate to serve the projected 180 million people in the country.

Besides, there have also been apathy on the part of users, who have become sceptical about security loopholes experienced while using it, and a host of others challenges.The implication of this is that the shortage of terminals will continue to encourage and fuel increase in cash transactions, which will in turn, continue to slow the expansion of cashless economy initiative.

In view of this, experts will gather on December 5, in Lagos, for the Q4 PoS Innovation Summit to proffer solutions to some of the attendant challenges. Announcing the event, the Managing Director, Global Accelerex Limited, sponsors of the summit, Tunde Ogungbade, said it has become important to promote and educate Nigerians on the necessary adoption and growth of PoS as a cashless payment channel for businesses in Nigeria.

“PoS, outside cash has been the adopted payment channel, and we owe it to Nigerians to sustain the security of their transactions. It is essential for us to come up with novel ideas to growth and adoption off cashless payments,” he stated.Ogungbade noted that one of the major determining factors that influence the choice of consumers when making payments was also the issue of security, “therefore, the industry has a responsibility to sustain soundness of the payment systems.”

He said: “Even as Nigeria has recorded about 80 per cent of transactions in retail shops carried out on PoS terminals, we have only 150,000 terminals in circulation compared to a country like Brazil, which has almost same features like Nigeria, but they have about 1.5million PoS terminals in circulation. There is need to innovate and encourage our consumers to continue to use these platforms, especially the PoS terminals to transact.”

“In a country like Angola where the GDP is small compared to Nigeria, they record a million transactions on PoS terminals per day, while we do not even record up to 500,000 transactions per day in Nigeria, because of the deficit in PoS terminals,” he added.Ogungbade noted that although newer payments options are being introduced daily, PoS still records the highest number of transactions for retail payments and “so the security of the platform is very necessary. It is not about card alone, the PoS can do Mcash and other things. Even in the foreseeable future, PoS will still be relevant.”

The Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank, Dele Adeyinka, said alternative payment methods have become a necessity in every country of the world, and it is a shame that Nigeria has only 150,000 PoS terminals to serve its almost 180 million people.Adeyinka said there must be concerted efforts among stakeholders if cashless economy must thrive in the country.

Speaking on the challenge of poor network connectivity, Head, Customer Relationship Management (South), Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS Plc), Oladapo Adeosun, said the organisation is seriously working with the telecommunications operators to ensure effective services.

He revealed that NIBSS had even carried out a work targeted at measuring the strength of networks, as it relates to different areas in order to be able to solve connectivity challenges.

The organisers said the summit will converge all the stakeholders in the PoS value chain, to discuss and strategise in a bid to explore opportunities, and improve service delivery in the PoS business sector of the Nigerian payment system.

The theme for this edition, ‘secure PoS transactions,’ aims at strengthening PoS terminals as one of the safest means of paying for goods and services.Expected at the summit are: Director, Banking and payments Systems, CBN; Dipo Fatokun; Chairman, Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum, Peter Obadore; Managing Director, Digital Encode Limited, Tunde Ogungbade; CSP Ahmed Lateef from the Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police Force; and CEO, Switching and Processing, Interswitch, Akeem Lawal and many others.

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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Biotech Firm Launches Lassa Vaccine Trial in West Africa

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Lassa Fever

Biotech Firm Launches Lassa Vaccine Trial in West Africa

A biotechnology company, INOVIO, says the first participant in Lassa vaccine trial has been dosed in a Phase 1B clinical trial for INO-4500, its DNA vaccine candidate for Lassa fever.

The clinical trial is being done in Ghana, the firm says, adding that INOVIO is focused on bringing to market precisely-designed DNA medicines to treat and protect people from infectious diseases and cancer.

The Phase 1B clinical trial (LSV-002), ongoing at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra, Ghana, is the first vaccine clinical trial for Lassa Fever to be conducted in West Africa, where the infection is endemic.

The lead clinical Principal Investigator for LSV-002 is Professor Dr. Kwadwo A. Koram, an expert and specialist in tropical medicines and epidemiologist with more than 20 years of research experience, including malaria vaccines.

INO-4500 was also the first vaccine candidate for Lassa fever to enter human trials, PUNCH Healthwise reports.

Already, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has tweeted his commendation.

Said Ihekweazu, “Fantastic news. The urgency of now. A vaccine for Lassa fever. We have worked very hard with WHO, CEPI vaccines, ACEGID, BNITM_de and many others to put this on the global health agenda. We will keep pushing.”

According to a press release by the biotechnology company, INOVIO is advancing INO-4500 with full funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global partnership that leverages funding from public, private, philanthropic and civil society organisations to support research projects to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases.

INOVIO previously received a $56m grant from CEPI in 2018, under which the company is developing vaccine candidates for Lassa Fever and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

“INOVIO and CEPI are committed to making a vaccine available as soon as possible for emergency use as a stockpile product post-Phase 2 testing,” the press release stated.

The statement notes that INOVIO’s Phase 1B clinical trial, LSV-002, will enroll approximately 220 adult participants who are 18 – 50 years old, with the primary endpoints of evaluating safety and immunogenicity in an African population.

The dosing regimen involves two vaccinations at zero and 28 days with either 1.0 mg or 2.0 mg dosing levels. In addition to providing valuable insights on the INO-4500 safety and immunogenicity profile, this trial will inform dose selection for subsequent Phase 2 studies in West Africa.

Lassa fever is an animal-borne, acute hemorrhagic viral illness primarily observed in parts of West Africa.

Infection is spread through contact with infected rodents, as well as person-to-person transmission via bodily fluids (primarily in health care settings).

The disease can cause a range of outcomes, including fever, vomiting, and swelling of the face, pain in the chest, back and abdomen, bleeding of various parts of the body including the eyes and nose and death.

Lassa virus infection in West Africa is estimated to affect 100,000 to 300,000 people annually, and is responsible for 10 – 16 percent of hospital admissions in the region. The virus is responsible for approximately 5,000 deaths annually.

Because of difficulties in diagnosing Lassa fever, the lack of standardised surveillance assays, and the remote nature of many of the areas in West Africa where outbreaks typically occur, the numbers of reported cases and deaths are very likely significantly lower than the actual numbers of cases and deaths.

Though the majority (about 80 percent) of Lassa virus-infected persons are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms, the infection can be quite serious to fatal in others. The case-fatality among patients hospitalized for Lassa fever is about 15 – 20 percent and, in some epidemics, case-fatality has reached 50 percent in hospitalized patients.

Up until now, there are no licensed vaccines or treatments specifically for Lassa fever.

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Google Says It Will Start Accepting Political Ads in US

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A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich

Google Says It Will Start Accepting Political Ads in US

Google has said it will resume accepting all political advertisements in the United States from Feb. 24.

The search giant disclosed in an email to advertisers on Monday.

Google paused all political advertisements in January when Trump’s mobs invaded U.S. Capitol.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX Raised $850 Million at $74 Billion Valuation

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Elon Musk's SpaceX Raised $850 million at $74 billion valuation

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Raised $850 Million at $74 Billion Valuation

Elon Musk‘s SpaceX completed a $850 million equity funding round last week, according to people familiar with the funding.

According to the sources, SpaceX raised the $850 million at $419.99 per share or just 1 cent below the $420 price that Musk made infamous in 2018 when he announced he had enough funding to take Tesla private at that price.

The new funding round also represents an increase of around 60 percent in the firm’s valuation from its previous round in August, when SpaceX raised almost $2 billion at a $46 billion valuation.

SpaceX raised only a portion of the funding available in the marketplace, with one of the sources familiar with the funding saying, SpaceX received “insane demand” of around $6 billion in bids in three days.

 

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