Connect with us

Markets

LSETF, VISA Commit N3.5m to Drive CBN’s Cashless Initiative

Published

on

Visa Inc
  • LSETF, VISA Commit N3.5m to Drive CBN’s Cashless Initiative

The cashless economy initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which seeks to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria, received boost in Lagos, when the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and Visa provided support worth over N3.5 million to winners of the second edition of its Cashless Lagos Hackathon.

The teams, which include Team Blended, Team Maverick, and Team LagosPay were presented with a check of N2 million, N1.5 million and N500, 000 respectively for taking the top three positions.

LSETF officials said the hackathon is in line with the Lagos State’s commitment to encourage and support the tech ecosystem in the state. The trust fund has so far issued N80 million workspace vouchers to 50 startups. It plans to issue 25 more before the end of the year.

The Cashless Lagos Hackthon was launched by Visa in partnership with Lagos Innovates – an initiative of LSETF, and Passion Incubator with the objective of creating technology based financial solutions to help Lagos MSMEs carry out daily cashless transactions.

There were seven teams that competed for the grand prize of N2 million. The teams – Akuk, Blended, Eko Wallet, Tradekiosk, Lagos Pay, Mavericks, and Cashbox – had an opportunity to meet and interview five loan beneficiaries from LSETF. During the interview they were able to learn some of the payment challenges faced by the small business owners. With the knowledge, each of them went to build a solution around it.

Addressing journalists after the cheque presentation, the Executive Secretary of LSETF, Akin Oyebode, said: “The Hackthon is designed to solve problems around cash management for small businesses. What we have done here is that we brought our beneficiaries – five women who are beneficiaries of our loan program – we brought them to see how we can use technology to improve their business. Over the course of this weekend the seven teams have listened to them, interviewed them and have gone to create solutions to help solve some problems they have identified, especially relating to receiving payments and going cashless.”

Although the selected ideas from the start-ups were still prototype solutions, the organisers, however, expect that the winning teams will go ahead with the guidance of mentors to translate them into real products that have market value. Oyebode noted the presence of bank executives at the hackathon who were also interested in seeing how they can support the roll out of the solutions to their own customers, would further encourage banks to support SMEs in developing solutions that will further drive the cashless economy initiative of the CBN.

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.

Continue Reading
Comments

Commodities

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

Published

on

cocoa-tree

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.

Continue Reading

Energy

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

Published

on

Power - Investors King

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.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

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

Published

on

Crude oil - Investors King

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending