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Smartphone Penetration Aiding Gambling in Nigeria, Others – Report

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  • Smartphone Penetration Aiding Gambling in Nigeria, Others – Report

The penetration of smartphones has increased the access of youths in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana to gambling, a new survey by GeoPoll has shown.

The report showed 90 per cent of the respondents interviewed said they used smartphones to place bets, with GeoPoll describing these gadgets as ‘African Las Vegas’.

The study, which engaged 2,000 respondents in the three countries, found out that three per cent of the respondents used slot machines; five per cent used cybercafé machines; 13 per cent slips; and two per cent used other devices.

“This is in line with a growing mobile gambling industry in Africa, which has become a multi-million dollar industry in many African countries due to growth in Internet and smartphone penetration as well as the ease of use of mobile money services such as MPesa,” GeoPoll, a mobile survey platform, said.

The study, which examined the prevalence of sports betting during the 2018 World Cup, found that Kenya and Ghana had a tie in the percentage of respondents who engaged in sports betting during the competition at 77 per cent, while Nigeria followed closely at 76 per cent.

The Nigerian youths interviewed admitted that during the just concluded World Cup, they spent as much as N4,000 per bet on predicting winners of the various matches.

Findings from the study indicated that the most popular online betting sites utilised by the youths were SportPesa in Kenya (82 per cent), Bet9ja in Nigeria (66 per cent), and Betway in Ghana (56 per cent).

Other popular betting sites, according to the report, are Betkia and Betin in Kenya; MyBet and Soccabet in Ghana; and NairaBet and NaijaBet in Nigeria.

While stating that the millennial consumer market in these countries had become addicted, it said, “Football betting and the popularity of the English Premier League have continued to grow in a symbiotic way with a growing youth population that continues to be defined by its uptake of technology.”

Findings from the GeoPoll data showed that mobile telephones were the second most used media to watch the tournament at 29 per cent, while the television was the primary device through which Africans watched the World Cup.

“Eighty-eight per cent of those who watched the competition claimed that they had followed matches on the TV, and 80 per cent said they used TV more than other devices to watch matches,” the report stated.

Findings indicated that tablets and laptops were also used to follow the games.

Analysts at GeoPoll said, “The high usage of phones as an alternative screen may be attributed to football fans keeping up with the live matches that coincided with work hours. It may also be attributed to watching videos of previous match highlights or replays.

“Other devices such as laptops and tablets were used much less frequently to follow matches, with only seven per cent saying they followed matches through a laptop and five per cent with a tablet.”

According to the report, the impact of Over-the-Top technology, such as video streaming via smartphones, was felt in Africa during the World Cup due to the ability of viewers to watch on the go.

“Of those who followed the World Cup on their mobile devices, the DStv had the highest percentage (51 per cent) of users who said they had used their platform to watch live World Cup matches.

“StarTimes, which recently introduced online stream6, had the second highest viewership at 35 per cent; followed by the Kwese Free Sport’s online feed, which 28 per cent of respondents reported to have used,” it added.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Commodities

Economic Strain Halts Nigeria’s Cocoa Industry: From 15 Factories to 5

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Once a bustling sector, Nigeria’s cocoa processing industry has hit a distressing low with operational factories dwindling from 15 to just five.

The cocoa industry, once a vibrant part of Nigeria’s economy, is now struggling to maintain even a fraction of its previous capacity.

The five remaining factories, operating at a combined utilization of merely 20,000 metric tons annually, now run at only 8% of their installed capacity.

This stark reduction from a robust 250,000 metric tons reflects the sector’s profound troubles.

Felix Oladunjoye, chairman of the Cocoa Processors Association of Nigeria (COPAN), voiced his concerns in a recent briefing, calling for an emergency declaration in the sector.

“The challenges are monumental. We need at least five times the working capital we had last year just to secure essential inputs,” Oladunjoye said.

Rising costs, especially in energy, alongside a cumbersome regulatory environment, have compounded the sector’s woes.

Farmers, who previously sold their cocoa beans to processors, now prefer to sell to merchants who offer higher prices.

This shift has further strained the remaining processors, who struggle to compete and maintain operations under the harsh economic conditions.

Also, multiple layers of taxation and high energy costs have rendered processing increasingly unviable.

Adding to the industry’s plight are new export regulations proposed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

Oladunjoye criticized these regulations as duplicative and detrimental, predicting they would lead to higher costs and penalties for exporters.

“These regulations will only worsen our situation, leading to more shutdowns and job losses,” he warned.

The cocoa processing sector is not only suffering from internal economic challenges but also from a tough external environment.

Nigerian processors are finding it difficult to compete with their counterparts in Ghana and Ivory Coast, who benefit from lower production costs and more favorable export conditions.

Despite Nigeria’s potential as a top cocoa producer, with a global ranking of the fourth-largest supplier in the 2021/2022 season, the industry is struggling to capitalize on its opportunities.

The decline in processing capacity and the industry’s current state of distress highlight the urgent need for policy interventions and financial support.

The government’s export drive initiatives, aimed at boosting the sector, seem to be falling short. With the industry facing over N500 billion in tied-up investments and debts, the call for a focused rescue plan has never been more urgent.

The cocoa sector remains a significant part of Nigeria’s economy, but without substantial support and reforms, it risks falling further into disrepair.

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Energy

Nigeria’s Power Sector to Get $7.5bn from $30bn African Electrification Initiative, Says Minister Adelabu

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Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu has said that Nigeria is set to receive a portion of a $30 billion investment aimed at electrifying Africa.

During a visit to Splendor Electric Nigeria Limited, Adelabu revealed that the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have committed to this ambitious initiative with Nigeria slated to receive approximately $7.5 billion, or 25% of the total fund.

The groundbreaking initiative is designed to extend electrification to an additional 300 million Africans over the next five years.

This large-scale project aims to address the energy deficit that has long plagued the continent and is expected to transform the power infrastructure significantly.

Adelabu expressed optimism about Nigeria’s role in the project, citing the country’s large population and ongoing power sector reforms as key factors in securing a substantial share of the funds.

“I want to inform you of the proposal or the intention, which is at an advanced stage, by the World Bank and the African Development Bank to spend about $30 billion to extend electrification to an additional 300 million Africans within the next five years. Nigeria is going to participate fully in this. I am confident that nothing less than 20% or 25% of this fund would come into Nigeria because of our population,” Adelabu stated.

The minister’s visit to Splendor Electric Nigeria Limited, a porcelain insulator company, underscores the government’s commitment to involving local businesses in the electrification drive.

The investment will focus on enhancing and upgrading power infrastructure, which is crucial for improving electricity access and reliability across Nigeria.

Despite the promising news, Nigeria continues to face significant challenges in its power sector. The country’s power grid has suffered frequent collapses, with the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reporting less than 13 million electricity customers and frequent nationwide blackouts.

The International Energy Agency highlighted that Nigeria’s national grid experienced 46 collapses from 2017 to 2023, exacerbating the nation’s energy crisis.

To combat these issues, the government is also advancing the Presidential Power Initiative, a project in collaboration with Siemens, which aims to build thousands of new lines and numerous transmission and injection substations.

Adelabu noted that the pilot phase of this initiative is nearing completion and that Phase 1 will commence soon.

With over 200 million people and a chronic energy shortfall, Nigeria’s power sector is in urgent need of overhaul.

The additional $7.5 billion from the African Electrification Initiative represents a critical step toward achieving reliable and widespread electricity access.

The investment is expected to stimulate not only infrastructure development but also economic growth, creating opportunities for local companies and improving the quality of life for millions of Nigerians.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Climb as Markets Eye Potential US Rate Cuts in September

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Oil prices rose during the Asian trading session today on speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve may begin cutting interest rates as soon as September.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, increased by 32 cents to $82.95 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 34 cents to $80.47.

The anticipation of rate cuts stems from recent U.S. inflation and labor market data indicating a trend towards disinflation and balanced employment, according to ANZ Research.

The Federal Reserve is set to review its policy on July 30-31, with expectations of holding rates steady but providing clues for potential cuts in September.

The potential rate cuts could stimulate economic activity, increasing demand for oil. This optimism has been partially offset by recent concerns over China’s slower-than-expected economic growth, which could dampen global oil demand.

President Joe Biden’s announcement to not seek re-election and endorse Vice President Kamala Harris had minimal impact on oil markets.

Analysts suggest that U.S. presidential influence on oil production is limited, although a potential Trump presidency could boost oil demand due to his stance against electric vehicles.

In response to economic challenges, China surprised markets by lowering key policy and lending rates. While these measures aim to bolster the economy, analysts remain cautious about their immediate impact on oil demand.

With OPEC+ production cuts continuing to support prices, the focus remains on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next moves.

Any decision to cut rates could further influence oil prices in the coming months, highlighting the interconnectedness of global economic policies and energy markets.

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