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Nigerians to Submit Phone IDs in Three Months, Says NCC

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has said Nigerians will have to submit the International Mobile Equipment Identity of their phones to it from July.

The regulatory body said this in the commission’s Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration.

The NCC’s move to start the implementation of the Device Management System (a Centralised Equipment Identity Register) is backed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari.

A portion of the policy said, “Accordingly, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has directed that the Device Management System should be implemented within three months.”

The NCC said, “With the aim to curtail the counterfeit mobile phone market, discourage mobile phone theft, enhance National Security, protect consumer interest, increase revenue generation for the government, reduce the rate of kidnapping, mitigate the use of stolen phones for crime, and facilitate blocking or tracing of stolen mobile phones and other smart devices, one of the means to achieve this is through the deployment of Device Management System.

“The implementation of a Centralised Equipment Identity Register otherwise known as Device Management System will serve as a repository for keeping records of all registered mobile phones’ International Mobile Equipment Identity and owners of such devices.

“IMEIs that have been reported as either stolen or illegal will be shared through the DMS to all the operators and service providers.”

The IMEI number is the mobile phone’s fingerprint. It is a 15-digit number unique to each phone. With the IMEI number, a phone can be tracked and located irrespective of the cellular number in it.

According to an expert that helps the Nigerian Police track stolen phones, who asked for anonymity, said, “The IMEI of a phone allows us to track the phone.

“It allows us to track the phone’s information, people the phone calls each day and the house address of the people that call on the phone.”

The expert added, “I can’t disclose how the IMEI of a phone works. It is sensitive information. Leaking the secret helps the people stealing the phone bypass the information.

“Some people already try to change the IMEI of stolen phones, but we know what to do to get the original one.”

With this move, the NCC will have the IMEI numbers, NIN, and mobile numbers of every Nigerian.

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

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Alphabet Leads Blockchain/Cryptocurrency Investment

Alphabet has so far invested $1.5 billion in blockchain companies between September 2021 and June 2022

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

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has so far invested $1.5 billion in blockchain companies between September 2021 and June 2022, the largest among global companies.

A recent report by Blockdata has shown. According to the report, Alphabet led funding rounds of blockchain/cryptocurrency companies with $1.506 billion invested in four rounds.

Blackrock, Morgan Stanley, Samsung, Goldman Sachs and others followed as shown in the statement below.

The report went on to say, “Forty corporations invested in companies in the blockchain/crypto space during this time. Samsung is the most active, having invested in 13 companies. United Overseas Bank came in next with 7 investments, followed by Citigroup with 6 investments, and Goldman Sachs with 5. In most cases, we cannot determine how much money these corporations have invested, as they participate in funding rounds with multiple or many other investors. As a proxy of this, we can look at the total funding amounts of the rounds they participated in.

“Based on this, the investors active in the biggest funding rounds are Alphabet ($1,506M in 4 rounds), Blackrock ($1,171M in 3 rounds), Morgan Stanley ($1,10M in 2 rounds), Samsung ($979M in 13 rounds), Goldman Sachs ( $698M in 5 rounds, BNY Mellon ($690M in 3 rounds), and PayPal ($650M in 4 rounds). The 40 companies invested approximately $6B into blockchain startups between September 2021 and June 2022.“

Further analysis of the data, revealed that banks have begun to increase their exposure and interest in crypto and blockchain companies, driven by an increase in client demand for crypto services.

Banks on the list of crypto investors are United Overseas Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and BNY Mellon.

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Telecommunications

Call, Data Rate to Jump 100% as FG Imposes 5% Excise Duty on Telecoms

Call and Data rates could jump as much as 100% once the Federal Government implemented 5% excise duty on telecommunication services

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Services Tax

Call and Data rates could jump as much as 100% once the Federal Government implemented 5% excise duty on telecommunication services, a source from the sector stated.

According to industry experts, the increment will not only impact subscribers but also increase tax burden on telcos which would translate into rise in tariffs.

This, experts explained would increase the total consumption tax on the sector from just the 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) to 12.5%, a situation they said would worsen Nigerians’ economic status given the ongoing happenings in the country.

If implemented, Nigerians are now expected to be paying as much as N40 a minute, up from N20 and could be paying up to N2,500 per gigabyte.

Last week, Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, decried the new tax, threatening to take the Federal Government to court for overburden the industry with so much taxes at a time when the telecommunication sector and the entire Nigerian economy was not faring well.

He said: “The 5 percent excise duty will overburden the industry. As a Minister, I was neither consulted nor obtained a memo to that effect. Even the appropriate lawmakers that were supposed to be talked with have also told me they were not.

”Things are not done that way. Besides condemning the tax, we will take every lawful step to guarantee that the tax does not stand.”

However, Ahmed Zainab, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, had different excuse for going ahead with the new 5% excise duty. According to her, the new 5% excise duty was in line with 2020 Finance Act and was part of Federal Government efforts at augmenting the nation’s revenue, especially from the non-oil sector.

The National Association of Telecoms Subscribers and the Nigerian Telecommunication Consumer have joined Pantami and other Nigerians to kick against the decision they considered wicked and inconsiderate.

Chief Adeolu Ogunbajo, president National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) also added his voice. He said the sector is barely holding its ground with the existing 7.5 percent VAT, additional 5 percent will sum the total VAT in the sector to 12.5 percent. This is a killer move on the sector, he said.

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Soft POS User Base to Grow 475% Globally by 2027

The total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027

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point of sales

A new study from Juniper Research has found the total number of merchants deploying soft POS solutions will surpass 34.5 million globally by 2027; rising from 6 million in 2022. This growth will be driven by Apple’s entrance into the soft POS space; enabling iOS users to access an affordable mobile POS solution.

Soft POS enables NFC enabled smartphones or tablets to accept contactless payments, without additional hardware.

1.2 Billion iOS Users Added to Soft POS Market

The research forecasts that Apple’s decision to enable third parties to develop soft POS solutions leveraging iOS NFC capabilities will result in an influx of iOS-specific services; leading to innovative solutions for merchants. Furthermore, the research predicts Apple’s entry will provide 1.2 billion iOS users with soft POS capabilities; unlocking a previously untapped market.

Soft POS is the latest development from Apple within the payments space; building upon Apple Pay and Apple Pay Later. Soft POS vendors should leverage Apple’s payment ecosystem by developing innovative solutions such as integrated QR payment acceptance, using Apple Pay and Pay Later compatibility to attract a broader iOS user base.

Increasing Contactless Payment Adoption to Drive Soft POS Uptake

The research anticipates soft POS adoption being driven by the increasing use of contactless payments – with volumes expected to rise from 195 billion in 2022 to 408 billion by 2027. Therefore, consumers will come to expect contactless acceptance as standard; forcing smaller merchants to adopt contactless-capable POS solutions. Merchants are anticipated to embrace soft POS, based on cost savings achievable from eliminating the need for additional hardware, as well as mobility advantages over contactless POS.

This will be profound for small-sum and mobile merchants that must accept contactless transactions, but lack the need for high-cost dedicated terminals. As such, the research recommends soft POS vendors must look to target micro and mobile merchants; designing solutions that meet their unique needs.

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