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FG Implores Parastatals to Promote the Country’s Digital Economy Initiative

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digital economy

FG Tells MDAs to Promote the Country’s Digital Economy

The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the management of Dr. Isa Pantami, has implored all the federal government parastatals to promote and safeguard the country’s digital economy initiative.

Dr. Isa Pantami, while presenting the keynote address in a virtual forum organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON),  said based on the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for critical data infrastructure and broadband is now high.

The minister urged government parastatals to put in effort to uphold and promote government’s digital economy initiative designed to reduce the effect of the pandemic on the nation. He also disclosed that the interests of all Nigerians would also be protected by the government.

Federal government will continue to develop its digital economy policy for a digital Nigeria. Both the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) that are under the supervision of my ministry, now have special departments that promotes digital economy initiative and I urge them and all other parastatals under my supervision, to ensure that they promote the digital economy initiative of the federal government in order to maintain investor’s confidence and to protect the interest of Nigerians, especially telecoms consumers.

Government on its part will ensure that the interests of telecoms companies and the interest of Nigerians are protected. Government is currently addressing the challenges in the cost of investments such as the issue of vandalisation of telecoms infrastructure, and President Muhammadu Buhari has officially directed all security institutes, through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), to protect telecoms investments in the country,” Pantami said.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, when making his presentation said “The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly and sharply ravaged the globe, Nigeria is no exception. Governments therefore, faced unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 pandemic. The impact affects most sectors of the global economy, ranging from health, to education, to finance, to trade and investment.

While explaining the Commission’s efforts at resolving consumer-related issues, Danbatta noted that less than 500,000 people activated Do-Not-Disturb (DND) code as at 2015 when the code was introduced by the Commission but presently, over 22,722,366 people line on the code.

He also made it known that the commission has resolved 98 per cent of service-related complaints received from telecoms consumers from January 2019 to April 2020.

according to Danbatta “the Commission has monthly engagements with operators as well as quarterly industry working group on Quality of Service and Short Codes, and is currently monitoring 2G Key Performance Indicators, while the KPIs for 4G are being prepared.

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Finance

Leaked Documents Reveal Money Laundering Scam Worth $2tn

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Several leaked documents have revealed how the world’s biggest banks enable criminals to launder money around the world.

The documents showing about $2tn of transactions are popularly called FinCEN files.

The BBC reports that the FinCEN files are more than 2,500 documents, most of which were files that banks sent to the US authorities between 2000 and 2017. They raise concerns about what their clients might be doing.

The documents are utilised by the banks to report suspicious behaviour. However, they may not be proof of wrongdoing or crime, the report said.

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury is saddled with the task of analysing information about financial transactions to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

The FinCEN files revealed how top tier banks such as HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclays Bank, Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered amongst others helped highly connected individuals move money round several accounts in the world.

JP Morgan allowed a company to move more than $1bn through a London account without knowing who owned it.

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest associates used Barclays Bank in London to avoid sanctions which were meant to stop him using financial services in the West.

Some of the cash was invested in works of art, the report added.

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Finance

UK Banks to Ditch Clients Across Europe

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UK banks are “outrageously failing” many tens of thousands of expat clients across Europe as they plot to shut their accounts and cancel credit cards within weeks due to post-Brexit rules.

This is the damning assessment of Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest financial advisory and fintech organisations, as most of Britain’s biggest banks send letters to customers in the EU warning them that all services are to be scrapped unless they have a UK address.

Mr Green says: “Most of the UK’s high street banks are plotting to unceremoniously abandon their customers across Europe within weeks.

“Accounts will be shut and debit and credit cards voided – regardless of how much or how little you have in those accounts or how long you have been a client – as it becomes illegal for UK banks to service British customers living in the EU without applying for new banking licences.”

He continues: “Once again, traditional banks are outrageously failing their clients who now need to take urgent steps to continue to be able to access, use, and manage their money.

“The move by these banks will be a major inconvenience to many tens of thousands of Brits living in the EU.”

Before post-Brexit rules come into effect, those affected are being urged to find alternatives to avoid potentially serious financial disruption.

“I would urge expats to now seek a financial services provider that already operates under pan-European rules,” says the deVere Group CEO.

In 2017 the firm launched deVere Vault. deVere Vault provides borderless global services with a ground-breaking e-money app and a single card, multi currency service designed with those with an international lifestyle in mind.

“You’re able to open a deVere Vault account in around five minutes, withdraw money from any cash machine worldwide, get real-time notifications with all your transactions, spend money on the card wherever Mastercard is accepted, and send and receive money in most major currencies,” notes Mr Green.

He concludes: “deVere Vault meets a growing need in an increasingly globalised world for our clients to have borderless access to and use of their money.

“Agile, tech-driven challenger banks and fintech firms are ready to fill the void left by traditional banks who are now having to routinely ditch their customers.”

 

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NNPC Says Private Investors Will Finance Rehabilitation of Downstream Assets

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Nigeria Hr

Private Investors to Finance NNPC Rehabilitation of Downstream Assets

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) during the weekend said a group of private investors would finance the proposed rehabilitation and replacement of its aging downstream assets, especially petroleum pipelines, across the nation.

In a statement released in Abuja, the Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, said some of the assets to be replaced were as old as 40 years and long overdue for replacement.

The managing director explained that the investors to be engaged would be doing the financing under the Finance, Build, Operate and Transfer, BOT, Model, adding that the model became imperative given the state of the nation’s downstream infrastructure.

He said: “Some of these assets are as old as 40 years and they are due for replacement; and when you want to do a replacement of this scale, you do need a lot of resources.

“And we know that we require these assets so we decided that we bring in private partners who will fund these pipelines, they will construct it, they will operate it with us and then ultimately they will fully recover their investment from the tariff which we will pay for using these pipelines. And as soon as they recover their cost and their margin, they will hand over these assets back to us.”

According to the NNPC boss, no fewer than 78 firms have already submitted virtual bids indicating their willingness to undertake the rehabilitation of the downstream pipelines, associated depots and terminal infrastructure of the NNPC through the financing model.

He added that the final partners would be selected by the end of the first quarter of 2021.

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